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THE LIBRARY OF THE 

UNIVERSITY OF 

NORTH CAROLINA 

AT CHAPEL HILL 




THE COLLECTION OF 
NORTH CAROLINIANA 

PRESENTED BY 

Roger Bullard 



CBo 
M8208f 




00039227096 

FOR USE ONLY IN 
THE NORTH CAROLINA COLLECTION 



Friends Through the Years 

First Baptist Church 
Wilson, North Carolina 



-<*** -*w? -v£- 



4 






Pedro Nijera, Artist 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2012 with funding from 
and Technology Act administered by the State Library of North Carolina. Grant issued to subcontractor UNC-CH for Duke University's Religion in North Car 



.org/details/friendsthroughyeOOm 






Most of the articles in this booklet titled "Friends Through the Years" were written 
by Frances R. Moore for publication between January 1990 and May 2003 in 
monthly issues of "The Senior Scene." Members of First Baptist Church of 
Wilson, North Carolina, were chosen randomly, and often the name or names 
of the person or persons interviewed as "Senior(s) of the Season" were not 
revealed until the end of the article, similar to the format of the old television 
program "This Is Your Life." 

The beautiful cover of this booklet was created by the late Pedro Najera 
depicting "Sunrise - Sunset." Appreciation is expressed to Charlotte Turner for 
reviving the idea of creating "Friends Through the Years," to Eleanor Tabb and 
Rev. Tom Riley for their early participation in working to publish this booklet, 
and to past and present FBC office secretaries for their helping in printing "The 
Senior Scene." 

Members of First Baptist Church are grateful and look forward to reading similar 
articles by Faye Maclaga-King, who began in November 2009 writing life stories 
of more of our members, which are again being published in monthly issues 
of "The Senior Scene" and distributed at the monthly luncheons of the Senior 
Adult Christian Fellowship and posted at various locations in the church. 



Printed 2010 




Thurman and Rachel Bailey 
"The Senior Scene" April 1995 

From the beginning they had much in common. He was the second of 12 children, and she was the fourth of 12 children. He was 
born in Henderson and, while still an infant, moved with his family to Clayton. She was born in Danville, Virginia and her family 
moved to Wake County near Garner while she was still a baby. 

They met at a Halloween party in Clayton when she was 16 and he was 22. She was dressed as a 
clown. At the time, she was interested in his cousin, who had no mode of transportation to visit her. 
Our "hero" was working for a Ford dealer at the time and did have a car, so he kindly took his cousin to 
visit her during the year they went together. Then the cousin "went off to Durham" but our driver kept 
coming to visit the young lady. Well, of course, you can guess what happened! They went together for 
about a year and got married when she was 18. Rachel and Thurman Bailey recently celebrated their 
57th anniversary! 

They moved to Wilson when he went to work at Wilson Motor Parts. When his boss retired, he bought 
the business, which he now shares with his son. Thurman is retired, but because of the recent prolonged illness of an employee, 
he is again going to work every day. After their marriage, Rachel became a homemaker and mother. They had four children, three 
daughters and a son. Judith, their first-born, was seriously ill much of her life due to rheumatic fever. However, she was able to 
finish high school with her class and attend Meredith College. Because of her illness, she transferred to Atlantic Christian College 
in her junior year, but still managed to graduate with her class. Very sadly, she died at 23 years of age. 

Their son Charles graduated from Wake Forest and now manages the family business. He is a member of First Baptist Church 
and has two children -Morgan, 16, and Leah Rachel, 13. You may remember Morgan singing a solo part in "Positive ID" with the 
Youth Choir recently. Their second daughter, Bonnie, lives in Raleigh with her husband, a civil engineer, and their family. Bonnie 
taught school until they adopted their first son, Daniel, now 23; they also adopted a daughter, Judith, now 18. They longed for 
children and decided to become foster parents. This led to their adoption of Sarah, now 6, and Corbin, 5. All three daughters of 
this faithful Baptist family went to Meredith. Their youngest daughter, Ella, also lives in Raleigh with her civil engineer husband. 
Both sons-in-law graduated from NC State. Ella's husband is also involved in surveying and developing land. Ella and Bonnie 
live fairly close to each other and share their morning walks after driving the children to school. Ella and her husband have three 
daughters - Holly, a sophomore studying engineering at NC State, Anna, who will graduate from high school next month, and 
Laura, a high school freshman cheerleader. 

The Baileys are very proud of each of their nine grandchildren. Rachel has always loved to sew and made most of her children's 
clothes; now she is sewing for grandchildren, as well as helping Thurman in his woodworking shop. Thurman is most enthusiastic 
when talking about their hobby of making furniture. He says that Rachel would go to yard sales and buy antique furniture in 
desperate need of repair. At first, they hired others to make the repairs until Thurman decided to learn how to do it himself. He 
attended Wilson Technical College and worked with Ray Etheridge, an expert craftsman. In the beginning, Thurman only had one 
piece of equipment, but he kept adding a piece at a time until now he has a well-equipped shop. 

The nicest thing about their hobby is that they work together, complementing each other. Thurman says Rachel is the greatest 
help. With her sewing experience, she makes the original patterns for their projects. Then a permanent pattern is made. Thurman 
says that good wood is not only expensive, but hard to find now. He makes furniture, and Rachel does the staining. They have 
made all the furniture they wanted for their home, as well as their children's homes, and now they are working on pieces for their 
grandchildren's future homes. For many years, they have donated a beautiful piece of furniture to the FBC Christmas Auction. 
Whenever they need a gift, they do not buy it - they simply make it! They recently received a lovely thank you note from Doris 
and Colon Jackson for a shelf they made as a farewell gift. Thurman says that he thanks the Lord for leading him to this hobby, 
because it is the most relaxing and rewarding thing he has ever done. Thurman is a long time member of the Shriners and the 
Masons. 

Rachel and Thurman joined First Baptist Church in 1945, and both are active in Sunday School and Church. Thurman, a former 
Deacon with many years' service, taught boys in the Junior Sunday School Department for about forty years. Rachel taught Junior 
girls during some of the same years. It must be true that "practice makes perfect." Senior Adult Assembly is blessed from time to 
time with Thurman's willingness to share his eloquent, beautiful and inspirational prayers. Most every Sunday they can be seen in 
the back left corner of the Sunday School Assembly and near the front right hand side of the church during worship. Rachel says 
anyone in the family who comes knows where to find them. Her sister, Eunice Johnson, and her family also share this pew. (It has 
been said this is the pew of Mrs. Pettus and Mrs. McLean, sisters and "pillars of the church" in earlier years.) 

Thurman and Rachel Bailey, First Baptist Church recognizes you for your continuing years of faithfulness. Your commitments to 
your Lord, your church, your family, and to each other make you outstanding role models for all to see. (Thurman 12/27/05 and 
Rachel 3/30/04) 




Ray and Pat Baker 
"The Senior Scene" February 1998 

Pat was born in Southern Pines and was next to the youngest of six girls. She had Bulbar Polio at the age of 11 , stayed in an 
iron lung two weeks and was not expected to recover. Ray was from Sanford and the youngest of seven siblings. They met at a 
high school dance on Easter Monday night in 1953. She saw him across the room and asked a mutual friend to introduce them. 

A year after graduating, she went to Mars Hill College, where he visited her every few weeks. The next year, he enrolled at Mars 
Hill also. She graduated with an Associate of Arts degree and entered Woman's College of UNC at Greensboro. He was drafted 
into the US Army during the Cuban crisis and was stationed at Fort Gordon, Georgia. He kept the roads busy between Fort 
Gordon and Greensboro. 

Ray Baker gave Patricia DuPree a diamond engagement ring in July 1957. During the Christmas 
holidays they decided to get married. He bought the license in Lee County, but it could not be 
used in Moore County, even though all the arrangements had been made. With college starting 
on January 2 and exams scheduled, they arranged a ceremony for December 29 at Ray's church 
and honeymooned in Washington, DC. For the next two years, Pat lived in Ragsdale Dormitory on 
Woman's College campus and Ray was stationed at Fort Bragg. He kept the roads busy between 
Fayetteville and Greensboro. 

Upon graduation with a BS Degree in Home Economics, Pat taught 9th and 10th grade Vocational 
Home Economics at Erwin while Ray went to Campbell College. Campbell was a two-year college 
at that time and additional years were just being added on. Had Ray stayed on, he would have been 
in the first four year graduating class. 

Pat and Ray lived at Campbell Town - the first housing development there for married students. They participated in campus 
activities and were active in student campaigning for the election of John F. Kennedy and Terry Sanford. They also sang in the 
choir at First Baptist Church. Ray was business manager for "The Creek Pebbles," the college newspaper, and for The Pine Burr, 
the college annual for two years, as well as a member of the student council. On weekends, Ray managed the pier and motel at 
Holden Beach for a group of businessmen at Campbell College. 

After graduation, Ray enrolled at NC State and commuted to Raleigh, while Pat commuted to Erwin. After three moths at NC 
State (with their hard-earned tuition already paid), Ray got another letter from Uncle Sam saying that "his service is needed" 
again for the Berlin crisis. He was stationed in Fort Meade, Maryland, and Pat stayed on in Buies Creek with their dog, Pancho, 
while continuing to teach at Erwin. He kept the road busy between Fort Meade and Buies Creek. After school was out, they got an 
apartment in Laurel, Maryland, until he was discharged in the summer of 1962. Again, he enrolled at NC State and they moved 
to Garner, where she taught 9th and 10th grade Home Economics and English. 

Expecting a baby in December, Pat did not return to teaching. In the 60's, an expectant mother was not allowed to teach. They 
moved to Raleigh and she worked at Carolina Country Club Pool and as Hostess for West Raleigh Presbyterian Church. He 
worked as nighttime and weekend Assistant Manager at Carolina Country Club and any other jobs he could find fulfilling his new 
role as father-to-be while still a student. 

Upon graduation from NC State, Pat, Ray, baby Debbi and Pancho came to Wilson. They bought a home and Pat enjoyed her 
role as a new mother and homemaker while Ray worked for two years as a 4-H agent with the NC Extension Service. The next 
12 years, Pay managed Wilson Truck Rentals for Herring Tractor and Truck Company before the Bakers went into business for 
themselves. Their son, Ray, was born in 1 968 and Pat did some substitute teaching. In 1 978, they started Baker Transfer, a truck 
leasing, hauling and sale company, which they later sold. Pat got her real estate license in 1986, but continued keeping books for 
the company. They now run the Sunrise Contracting business from their office at home, contracting with the Federal Government 
and recycling pallets. 

Pat and Ray have been very active in First Baptist of Wilson since joining in 1964. Pat has been a Cub Scout leader, Bible school 
teacher, on the Flower and Communion Committees, President of the Ruth Sunday School Class for two consecutive years, lined 
up meals for Habitat volunteers, worked with the WMU Christmas Auction Dinner, is currently a member of the Sanctuary Choir, 
the WMU Prayer Chain and Britthaven Nursing Home Group XL, as well as WMU Director after several years of being on the 
board. Ray has been song leader for the Youth Sunday School Class, in charge of the Men's Christmas Auction for three years 
straight, is immediate past Chairman of Deacons, one of the Paraclete Sunday School Class teachers, an active Deacon and 
member of the Brotherhood. 

The Baker's son, Ray, Jr. is married and lives in Fuquay-Varina. His business in Sanford is called Baker Furniture Company, 
where he refinishes, repairs, restores and sells antique furniture. 



Their daughter, Debbi, is married and lives in Beaufort, SC. She is Secretary at First Presbyterian Church and has recently started 
a part-time catering business. FBC members were treated to a variety of her culinary specialties recently at the Baker's 40th 
anniversary celebration which their children and spouses sponsored in the small dining room. 

Animals have always been a significant part of the Bakers' lives. Their cat Fluffy lived over 18 years. They have always had at 
least one dog and now have two dogs - Max, a Siberian Husky (who stays outside) and Precious, a Terrier-Poodle (who stays 
inside). 

In their spare time, both Pat and Ray enjoy reading. His hobbies are model trains and reading books on the War Between the 
States. Pat enjoys sewing, cooking, crafts, old movies, yard work and walking. Both are active in community affairs also, Ray 
being a member of the Rotary, Elks and Moose Clubs, as well as the Sons of the Confederacy. Pat is very active in the Wilson 
Woman's Club, having been in charge of the Club Flea Market, Newsletter Editor, Secretary and Historian. She has volunteered 
as a Girl Scouts leader, with the Wilson Concerts, the Red Cross and American Cancer Society. 

That Pat and Ray Baker are very devoted to each other and their family is obvious to anyone who sees them together and notes 
how many years they have been married and worked together. That they are concerned for their fellow man can be seen in their 
community service. That they are devoted to serving our Lord and Savior is obvious in the many responsible positions they have 
accepted and ably carried out at their previous churches and at First Baptist of Wilson. (Ray 2/5/09) 

Alma T. Barnes 
"The Senior Scene" March 1998 

Alma Treadway was born July 24, 1925 in Burnsville, North Carolina, the youngest in a family of four boys and two girls. Her 
parents were W H and Elizabeth Pressley Treadway. When Alma was two years old, the family moved to Micaville, another North 
Carolina mountain town, where her father was a foreman at the mica mine. Her mother was very unhappy there and persuaded 
her father to move by complaining that the house they lived in was haunted. Doors would open and shut by themselves, lamps 
would not stay lit and sounds of footsteps could be heard on the stairs. When Alma was four, the family moved down the mountain 
to Marion, North Carolina where her father was employed in a large furniture factory, and her mother at a hosiery mill. 

With the older brothers and sister in school, this created a problem of getting someone to care for Alma. 
The grammar school at Cross Elementary agreed to let Alma stay in the first grade room at the school. 
Her sister would take her to school in the morning and home at the end of the school day. The first 
grade teacher let Alma do the same things as the six-year-olds did, and when the school year ended, 
Alma was actually promoted to the second grade. Therefore, she completed seventh grade at age 10 
and was 11 when she started high school that fall. She graduated from the eleventh grade at Marion 
High School at age 14, the youngest student ever to graduate from there. She and her brother, "Red", 
were both given certificates for perfect attendance records for all eleven years of school. Conveniently, 
she had her childhood illnesses, such as measles and mumps, during the summer or the Christmas 
holidays. Alma says her family could not have afforded to send her to college even if she had been 
older. A neighbor helped her enroll in the Cadet Nurse Corps for a full year of nurses' training. Because 
she was so young, the law prohibited her from training at Marion General Hospital more than five hours 
each day. At 15, she went to Lee's McCrae at Banner Elk for more Cadet Nurse training, which was 
discontinued after only a few months. She then worked in the office at a Marion Hosiery Mill for a year and a half. 

By this time, her brother, Leon "Red" Treadway had enrolled in Atlantic Christian College in Wilson. After graduating, he played 
baseball with the Wilson Tobs and married a Wilson girl, Virginia Bradley. Although their home was in Wilson and they were 
expecting their first child, "Red" was playing for the New York Giants. During the off season, he was due to play ball in Cuba for 
a few months. They invited Alma to come stay with them in Wilson until their child was born. Shortly after Alma arrived in Wilson 
in January 1945, Virginia introduced her to Carl Barnes, who worked for Virginia's father at Wimpy's on Nash Street. Alma took 
a job clerking at Bissette's drug Store and started dating Carl. They were married in July of 1945 and were members of the First 
Free Will Baptist Church on Granger Street. They both worked on the tobacco market, he as a ticket marker and she as an office 
clerk. Their first son, Keith, was born in 1948 and their second son, Tracy, in 1951. Alma continued to work at Clarks Warehouse 
in Wilson each tobacco season until Keith was four and Tracy was one. Then Alma and Carl both worked on the Georgia tobacco 
markets for several seasons for William D. Webb, father of Justice John Webb. In 1954, Carl had the opportunity to be co-owner 
of a tobacco warehouse in Dunn, North Carolina, and the family moved there for two years and joined the First Baptist Church 
of Dunn. 

When they returned to Wilson in 1 956, Alma transferred her church letter to Wilson First Baptist church where the family attended 
regularly for several years. Alma helped teach Sunday School under Kathryn Easom for one year and also taught crafts in Bible 
School. She admits that after the boys left for college, she strayed from Church. 




In 1991, she retired from Estes Express Lines after twenty-five years. On her sixty-fifth birthday in 1992, she had serious major 
surgery at UNC Memorial Hospital in Chapel Hill. Upon opening her eyes after lengthy surgery, she discovered Dr. Jim Jarrard 
praying beside her with his hand on her shoulder. Also with her were long time neighbor, Ethel Wilkerson and Mary Lib Smith, 
both of whom had been there since early morning. 

Alma sincerely believes in her guardian angel as God's earthly representative. Since the day one of her surgeons pinned an 
angel on her, she has always worn an angel pin on her shoulder and collected angel memorabilia. The events of her recovery 
made her realize how much she had missed her church family. She began attending church and joined the Fidelis Sunday 
School class taught by Jackie Brooks, who, Alma says, has been an inspiration to her. She also says that being "the new kid on 
the block" led the class to choose her as Outreach Leader. She loved serving and the class really appreciated her innovative 
ideas. Through her talent for crafts, Alma often made special favors for each member present at the monthly luncheons. Most 
importantly, she inspired the class to carry out more local mission projects, especially at nursing homes. Since May of 1994, she 
has been "privileged" as she says to work as a part-time receptionist at Avante Nursing Home. She works on alternate weekends 
and regrets she can only attend Sunday School and Church two Sundays each month. On the Sundays that she is working, she 
always listens to the FBC broadcast on the radio, for which she is very thankful. 

Her son, Keith, and his wife, the former Gale Murphy, and their son, Will, live in Wilson. Will, 16 and an eleventh grader at Fike 
High School has just earned the Eagle Scout badge. Alma is an exceptionally proud grandmother and says that she finds it 
hard not to Brad too much. Keith is a staff photographer with the Wilson Daily Times and writes a reminiscent column in the 
Wednesday edition. Generation of long-time Wilson residents enjoy tracing their steps down memory lane through his writings. 
Tracy presently makes his home with Alma after working several years in South Carolina. He works in Elm City with Alcatel, a 
large cable company which was originally Thermatics and later Commscope. Their dog "Red" is a three year old mixed breed and 
"rules the household". 

Alma became a member of Beta Sigma Phi only a month after it was formed and has served several terms as President. Beta 
Sigma Phi is an international cultural and social organization. Alma served as President of the Beta Sigma Phi City Council, a 
large group of chapters. Other FBC members included Marcia Totty Parker, Martha Totty Barnes, Helen Young, and Jane Hawes. 
Through Beta Sigma Phi, Alma very much enjoyed trips to Hawaii and to the International Office in Kansas City, Missouri. 

Alma's favorite pastimes are cooking, crafts, bridge, and doing special favors for the patients at Avante. For two years, she was a 
regular volunteer at Brian Center. She also enjoys the FBC Senior Adult activities. Alma Treadway Barnes truly "talks the talk and 
walks the walk" of a dedicated Christian, loving her neighbors (and strangers) as herself and doing for others what Jesus Christ 
would have each of us do. She must have learned how to "Be Prepared" from Will. If a resident at Avante need a lap robe or an 
article of clothing, Alma is likely to have it in the trunk of her car. If she doesn't, she will make a special trip to purchase the item. 
She is a very busy lady, full of energy and enthusiasm, with a twinkling in her eyes and a smile on her face. She listens with her 
heart and fills every need she can to bring happiness to those around her. (3/15/05) 

Charles Barnes 
"The Senior Scene" December 2000 

He calls himself a frustrated gardener and architect. He first became interested in flowers while carrying buckets of flowers for 
his mother when she was decorating the Sanctuary of First Baptist Church located on Nash and Pine Streets. His love of history 
shows in his house built in 1990 in Country Club Hills, using a floor plan based on an early nineteenth century raised cottage 
on the family farm of Huldah Walston near Saratoga. Huldah was a devoted member of First Baptist and the mother of Ida Ruth 
Owens and Jane Cole. The floors in his house came from the Walston house and the mantels from a farmhouse at the former 
location of Cox Dodge on Highway 301 North. 

He said that he was "raised" in the First Baptist Church and is a "lifelong" member, although he 
actually joined as a teenager on September 4, 1949. From childhood, he was very active in the 
Church, later serving as a Deacon and long time member on the Sanctuary Choir. Even though 
he learned the basics of music as a child, he does not actually read music. Not long ago after 
having missed two consecutive Sundays singing in the choir, a lady laughingly said to him, "You 
had better not stay away too long or Clyde will realize where that funny noise is coming from." 
When asked what he sings, he answers, "Whatever the person next to me is singing." He says 
that C. A. Nelson has been a great help and keeps him "propped up." He has served on numerous 
committees through the years, including House Furnishings and the Flower Committee, and was 
on the Building Committee when the new Fellowship Hall was built. He regularly volunteers in the 
After School Program. 

Charles Milton Barnes was born March 25, 1935 at Carolina General Hospital in Wilson and has 
lived here all of his life, except while he was away in college and the US Army. His parents were 

6 




Wiley Leroy and Gertrude Stallings Barnes. He has one older brother, Wiley, Jr., and a sister-in-law, Helen, of Wilson whose 
children and grandchildren are very dear to him. Six days a week he takes Wiley to visit Helen at Britthaven. Also to be included 
in his "family" is his four year old cat, Fuzz. 

Charles graduated from Charles L. Coon High School in 1953 and subsequently received his Bachelor of Fine Arts with a Major 
in Interior Design from Virginia Commonwealth University (formerly Richmond Professional Institute), and he was Editor of the 
yearbook during his senior year. He served in the Signal Corps of the US Army from 1 959-1 960 and for 1 8 months was stationed 
in Frankfurt, Germany. He returned once "to see if it had changed" and it had - greatly. 

From 1960 until 1987, Charles worked as an interior designer when he and Tom Jones, who is also a member of First Baptist 
Church, became partners in Green Gable Designs, Inc., a residential and commercial interior design firm located on West Green 
Street. If you visit, you will likely be greeted by Willie Jones, a Maltese belonging to Tim and Elaine Jones' daughter, Abigail. Willie 
goes to work with Tom almost every day and is very fond of Charles, frequently climbing into his lap. (World Book Dictionary states 
that the Maltese "was popular as a lap dog among well-to-do Greeks and Romans.) Charles is Willie's sitter when the Jones family 
is out of town, and Willie acts the perfect gentleman in allowing Fuzz, the cat, to go through the door first. 

Charles has enjoyed occasionally traveling in Europe and says that if heaven is anything like the Greek Islands, it's a wonderful 
place. A strange thing happened when he was in Verona, Italy. He met a man and asked where he was from and the man 
answered that he was from a remote little town in Virginia called Back Bay. Charles then told him that he had a good friend in 
college from Back Bay! He recalled enjoyable trips to the British Isles and less glamorous places in the United States, such as a 
couple of trips to California (a place he was not crazy about). He also enjoys traveling with the Senior Adults whenever possible. 

Friends describe Charles Barnes as a multi-talented, likeable fellow, witty, cheerful-even jolly. He is a very caring and faithful 
person, especially to family, friends and older people. He is cooperative, accommodating and very thorough in all that he does. 
A choir member says that he is a very good tenor, and the entire choir thinks the world of him. The First Baptist Church is a high 
priority with Charles, and he is always willing to share his advice and hands-on expertise. 

Wiley and Helen Barnes 
"The Senior Scene" October 1998 

Helen "Hi" Wheeler and Wiley L. Barnes were born in Wilson and attended Wilson City Schools, graduating from Charles L. Coon 
High School. Under Helen's name in her high school annual is written: "But there is nothing half so sweet in life as love's young 
dream." (Thomas Moore) 

WileyjoinedtheUS Navy in 1943 and served nearly three years in the South Atlantic and the South Pacific. While he was on leave 
during Christmas of 1944, he met Helen at the Wilson Theater Soda Shop. Soon after his discharge from the Navy on Christmas 
Eve 1 945, he called her for a date. Helen was still in high school, but graduated the following June and worked at Belk's until (and 
some time after) they were married on November 24, 1 946. Like most women of her generation, she then became a homemaker. 

After receiving a job offer at Branch Banking and Trust Company, Wiley worked there about a 
year and a half before going with Murphy Body Works for about the same length of time. He was 
then employed at Electric Supply for 20 years, during which time he attended Nela Institute in 
Cleveland to study lighting design. Later he went into business for himself as a manufacturing 
agent, working with engineers and architects. He had offices in Wilson, Raleigh and Concord, as 
well as being a representative in South Carolina part of that time. 

Helen and Wiley have four children, five grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. Their daughter 

Carol married Mike Brewer and they have two children, a son Bryan and a daughter Kelly, who 

married Kent Norville, and they have a daughter now five years old. All of Carol's family lives 

in Wilson. Carol visits Helen at Britthaven every Sunday morning so they can worship together 

\ ^ 1 by radio, while Wiley attends church with their daughter, Lou Ann, granddaughter, Jessica and 

M. wms brother, Charles Barnes. Helen and Wiley's second daughter, Lee, married John Murphy, who 

works at the Nation Institute of Health. Lee graduated from and is now employed at Gallaudet 

University in Washington, DC. Next came the Barnes' son, Ned, who is an attorney in Wilmington. He is married to the former 

Amy Joslyn, and they have two children, a son Mitchell, six and an 11 year old daughter, Drew. Lou Ann Watson is the youngest 

of the family and lives in Wilson with her daughter, Jessica, a junior at Hunt High School. They are both active in First Baptist. 

Perhaps some of our Senior Adult "Earth Angels" will remember Gertrude Barnes and Gertrude Wheeler Britt, mother of Wiley 
and Helen, respectively. 

Helen has two sisters, Bet McGillicuddy of Florida and Jane Albritton of Wilson. Wiley has only the one brother, Charles Barnes. 

7 




In the past, Helen volunteered with the Gray Ladies at Wilson Memorial Hospital and with the reading program at Wells Elementary 
School. Wiley was a member of the Wilson Jaycees and currently is a member of the Elks Club. 

In 1978, Helen had cancer and they had to drive to Raleigh each week for radiation. As if she had not had enough pain and 
suffering, she then contracted shingles. "Illness brings change in priorities," said Wiley and he promised Helen he would retire 
when her health improved. And so, in 1981, he retired and they moved to Emerald Isle because they both enjoyed the beach. 
However, after being retired for only four months, Wiley decided to go into the real estate business - sales, appraisals, and even 
building houses for speculation. He had clients from all over the United States and very much enjoyed meeting new people. Helen 
enjoyed cooking, sewing, quilting and playing golf with Wiley, who also spent part of his spare time woodworking. Now, Helen 
eagerly looks forward to Wiley's visits twice a day. 

Wiley taught Sunday School at Wilson First Baptist was a Sunday School Department Head, Sunday School Superintendent, and 
Vice-Chairman of the Board of Deacons and served on the Personnel and Scout Committees. Some of the men he served with 
were Charlie "Buck" Powell, James Thompson, Vance Macy, Francis Patterson, Roland Stott, and LP "Blinky" Bullock. 

While living in Emerald Isle, they were members for two years at the Baptist Church in Cape Carteret of which former Wilson 
FBC pastor, Clyde Baucom and his wife Linda were founders and members. Helen and Wiley later moved their membership to 
Swansboro Methodist Church for about nine years. One of the pastors of that church, Susan Pate Greenwood, is now minister at 
West Nash Methodist Church in Wilson. 

The Barnes family always had dogs, including "Charlie Brown," who lived to the ripe old age of 18. Helen had a special way 
with animals. She once had a pet squirrel that would come to be fed when Helen made a certain clucking sound. She also fed a 
favorite raccoon and lots of homeless cats when they lived at the beach. 

North Carolina Center for the Blind in Raleigh sends Wiley magazines and books on tape every other month. Wiley records the 
order numbers to keep from duplicating books, which happened in the beginning. His list shows that he has "read" hundreds of 
unabridged books and magazines. Carol helps with the grocery shopping but Wiley takes care of the yard, house cleaning and 
laundry, and enjoys walking in his neighborhood. All of the children are as attentive and helpful as possible. 

Helen and Wiley Barnes are an amazing couple. They are very brave in the face of adversity. Helen always had a happy smile for 
visitors. She is thought of as always being cheerful, friendly and having an outgoing personality - definitely a "sunshine" person. 
A true friend who was always there when needed, she loved life, was a wonderful mother and cook, "famous" for her beef stew 
and delicious brownies. Friends recall warm welcomes and large gatherings at the Barnes' home. Others have also said that 
Wiley is a sincere, thoughtful, hospitable and genuine person with a good sense of humor. His positive attitude and determination 
are inspirational. (Helen 10/11/01) 



Russell and Vera Bean 
"The Senior Scene" October 1994 

After their daughter was married in 1 973, she wanted her husband to retire. Both sets of their parents had vacationed in Florida, 
so they traveled Highway 301 North and South often. Many of you will remember that the Highway and Goldsboro Street were 
one and the same, so they traveled through Wilson itself. As their parents grew older, their fathers passed away and their mothers 
depended upon them more, especially to deliver his mom's automobile either north or south, depending on the season. Through 
the years, the south appealed to them more and more, and they decided they would like to live here. On the way north with his 
mother's belongings after her death, they stopped in Wilson to rest and just happened to call a realtor. Because they had lived 
in large homes over twenty years, they were interested in a smaller home with a good size work shop. 
This was a necessity because he was an avid enthusiast and collector of antique cars. An experienced 
northern lady realtor always lined up several options for her out of town clients. However, their Wilson 
realtor called them and sent pictures of only one home. They drove over 600 miles to look at that one 
place and bought it! It is a lovely country place located two miles north of Saratoga. 

Vera Bean was born at her family home in Hadley, Pennsylvania, a year and a half after Russell was 
born on a dairy farm in nearby Cochranton. 

During the three years Russell was a radio operator with the Army Signal Corps in the South Pacific, 
Vera finished college and because a teacher in Cochranton. Russell returned to the states on the 
aircraft carrier Yorktown (now moored in Charleston, SC) and declares he had not been home in 
Cochranton an hour and a half before he knew there was a new, attractive young teacher in town. 

8 




(Vera says that he had a special affinity for teachers.) 

They met at Christmas time in 1946, became engaged at Easter after "courting seriously' and were married the day after Labor 
Day in 1 947. They had to wait until after Labor Day, because Vera's father had a seasonal job selling passenger boats and running 
a ferry at Lake Conneaut, the largest lake in Pennsylvania. Vera and Russell lived in Meadville, Pennsylvania ten years and in 
Ridley Park, a suburb of Philadelphia, for the next three. They then moved just north of Buffalo, New York and lived there 1 3 years. 
Russell was a claim manager for State Farm Insurance and Vera taught school substituting on a full-time basis most years, so 
she could be at home with their children. Their son, Ronald, is single and lives in Cleveland, Ohio where he is in the commercial 
decorating business. Their daughter, Deborah, is married, lives in Dallas, Texas and is a teacher. She and her husband have two 
sons, 15 and 12. Ana Maria Magoke from Temuco, Chile was their daughter for the year 1966-67 through American Field Service. 

Russell no longer collects antique cars but does own a 1 950 % ton truck. Vera says he is a good mechanic, and he confesses he 
is a fair diagnostician of auto ailments. Before he was old enough to drive, his father suggested that Russell take his savings and 
buy himself a certain second hand 1 928 Model A Ford. He paid all of $60.00 for it, drove it 60,000 miles and when he traded it in, 
he was allowed (believe it or not!) $60.00 for it! 

Russell still works five different weeks in the summer, traveling to major cities in the US to audit claim files. The year he went to 
Anchorage, Alaska, Vera went along and they made it a special business-pleasure trip, since they both loved to travel. This week, 
they've just returned from the North Carolina mountains with their neighbors. 

Both Vera and Russell were "over-extended" before retiring to North Carolina, so they agreed they would only take on projects 
they really enjoy. Vera loves sewing, reading, and tutoring adults in reading. She became a library volunteer in Greenville with 
Volunteer Adult Basic Education. She is a dedicated teacher who has worked with one of her students three and a half years. 
Russell is fond of music and reading. He is a member of the Council for the Aging and a past member of the now defunct Civic 
Chorus. Both Vera and Russell volunteer at the Soup Kitchen regularly. Vera says that they "come as a pair and think that's the 
reason for their present happiness." At home, they always have a pair of happy cats to love and care for. 

Russell grew up as a Presbyterian and Vera was a Methodist. During their years in New York, they were members of an American 
Baptist Church. After moving south, they were members of the Stantonsburg Methodist Church for five years. When they first 
visited our church, they happened to sit near Lucy Rogers and Hudlah Walston, who were very friendly and soon visited the 
Beans. They began having lunch together after Church, as well as lovely Sunday afternoon rides. Since Lucy moved to Richmond, 
Virginia early in 1991, the Beans go there and bring her to Wilson for visits two or three times a year. 

Vera and Russell joined First Baptist church in October 1989, and became actively involved. Russell is a member of the Sanctuary 
Choir, and Vera is a Group Leader in the Fidelis Sunday School Class. She also helps on a Wednesday night cooking team. They 
are on the Communion Committee and have served as Co-Chairman in the past. To quote them, "We feel very fortunate to have 
been guided to First Baptist Church, and we are grateful for the kind and generous people who have accepted two Yankees and 
made us part of your family. We cherish our time here with you." The Beans are enthusiastic about everything they do - their work 
at First Baptist, their volunteer work, their genuine love for everyone they know, their life together and LIFE in general. If you do 
not know them, you are missing a blessing. 

Paul and Eleanor Blake 
"The Senior Scene" March 2003 

Their lives were similar from the beginning. Both were born in Wilson, she at home and he at Carolina General Hospital. Both 
only had older sisters, he with three and she with two. Both graduated from Charles L. Coon High School and Atlantic Christian 
College and then became school teachers at Charles L. Coon. They have never lived anywhere other than Wilson, although they 
now have a vacation home at Atlantic Beach 

He was born on July 5, 1936 to Paul N. and Eudell Barnes Blake. He graduated from Atlantic 
Christian College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and taught History, Mathematics, 
Driver's Education and Physical Education for a few years. While still in college he began coaching 
Junior Varsity football, basketball and baseball, later coaching Varsity teams. He stopped teaching 
to become self-employed in business. 

She was born February 6, 1937 to Kenneth James and Ruth Briley Herring. Her mother and 
parental grandparents, Cora and Kenneth E. Herring, were members of First Baptist Church. She 
grew up in all of the children's and youth activities of the church. She started playing the piano for 
Hazel Barnes' fourth grade Sunday School Class when she was just ten years old. (Mrs. Barnes 
was Evelyn Neeland's mother.) 
Eleanor Herring and Paul Blake met when they were juniors in high school and dated for five 

9 




years, during which time she attended Woman's College of the University of North Carolina in Greensboro for one year and then 
returned to Atlantic Christian College to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in business. 

Eleanor and Paul were married on November 27, 1958 and Eleanor taught eighth grade Math for a year, had her first child and 
then became a substitute teacher on various subjects, including typing and Latin. She received her real estate license in 1973 
and kept it renewed and updated until after she and Paul had owned and operated Dotty Lou's Children's Shop for twenty-five 
years. She kept her goal in sight and is a real estate broker with First Wilson Properties, Inc. Eleanor and Paul have two children, 
Paul III and Anne Blake Lindley. Paul is a Wilson attorney, married to the former Marlene Dixon and they have two sons, Paul IV, 
eleven years of age, and Eli, eight, both students at Greenfield. Anne, a homemaker, is married to Stuart Lindley and they reside 
in Kinston with their two year old daughter, Anne Grayson. 

Eleanor enjoys doing needlework, stained glass, woodworking, reading, exercising, and taking courses at Wilson Technical 
Community College. Besides hobbies already mentioned, she has taken bricklaying, upholstery, interior, decorating, cake 
decorating, and computer training. Eleanor and Paul are very devoted to their children, grandchildren and other family members. 
She tries to get her sisters together for lunch about once a month, picking up Elmira (Alvord) in Raleigh and Ruth (Bazemore) 
in Durham, where they enjoy quality time together. Paul especially enjoys skeet shooting, working in their yard, and doing 
handyman jobs. He helped build the wheelchair ramp for Louis Meyer several years ago. He has been a member of First Baptist 
Church since 1969, is a former deacon and presently Treasurer of his Paraclete Sunday School Class, and is on the Grounds 
Committee and a Wednesday night cooking team. 

Eleanor joined First Baptist Church in 1949 at the age of twelve. She has helped with Vacation Bible School, Children's Choir, 
and is still graciously sharing her musical talents, playing piano for the Senior Adult Assembly and the Ruth Class, where she 
also serves as her class Treasurer. At one time, she was playing piano for three assemblies located on three different floors of 
the Education Building. She has also served on the Flower, Chancel and Decorating Committees. Eleanor is a former volunteer 
with the Wilson Crisis Center and former member of the Junior Woman's Club and the Wilson Woman's Club. She is currently a 
member of the Wilson Board of Realtors and the North Carolina Association of Realtors. 

Paul is more easy going and laid back than Eleanor who seems to have boundless energy. Friends say that she is a smart lady, 
dependable and dedicated to the job at hand. Eleanor is very friendly too; thoughtful of and concerned about others, especially 
those who are sick or grieving. The Blakes are a very nice couple to know and First Baptist Church is grateful for all they do in 
helping to make up the true "Church Family." 

Dorsey Blount 
"The Senior Scene" November 1996 

The family crests hanging in the den highlight the names "Cowherd" and "Blount." Dorsey Cowherd Blount does not mind admitting 
her age. She was born in 1904 in Collierstown, Rockingham County, Virginia to Philip Henshaw and Zilla Wilson Cowherd. Of five 
children in the family, Dorsey's only brother was the youngest. 

Because her father was a Southern Baptist minister, they moved about fairly often. When they lived in 
mountainous Orange, Virginia, her father would take the children to school on horseback. When Dorsey 
was ten, they moved to Blenheim, South Carolina, where she finished high school. The eleventh grade 
had just been added, so she received college credits for several subjects taken in the tenth grade. 
Therefore, she finished Anderson College in Anderson, SC in three years, shortly before her nineteenth 
birthday. She says that all her siblings went there, because her father thought if they went where Dr. 
White was President of the College, as well as their Baptist minister, "they would all be bound to go 
to heaven." Although her father knew Dr. White, Dorsey said she seldom saw him except at chapel 
service and church. 

After college, Dorsey began teaching school in Morehead City, where she and other classmates had 
applied for jobs after two Goldsboro friends raved about all the fun and activities among the young 
people. Of course, after going there, the South Carolina girls found out that Morehead City in the 

wintertime was quite different from summertime. Most of the streets were unpaved and rutted. The only way to go to the beach 

was by boat, and the one hotel on the otherwise barren beach was closed during the winter. 

However, by fate or by God's good timing, Dorsey met her true love there in the fall of the second year she taught. Jim Blount 
was an engineer with a firm in his hometown of Wilson and went to Morehead City to prepare for the first street paving. Jim and 
Dorsey met and soon began dating. After two years in Morehead City, Dorsey taught in Franklin County, NC until Thanksgiving. 
On Thanksgiving Day 1925, her beloved mother died suddenly at age 49. With sadness in her voice, Dorsey expressed regrets 
that her mother did not live to see her grandchildren. This tragedy caused the upcoming wedding plans of Dorsey and Jim to 
be postponed until the next spring. After Christmas Dorsey went back to Anderson, where she had many friends, and taught in 

10 




the seventh grade. In the meantime, Jim's company started work at Bat Cave near Asheville, making it possible for him to go to 
Anderson every weekend. When Jim and Dorsey married, her seventh graders loved having a teacher named Mrs. Blount, since 
another was named Mrs. Sharp! 

Returning to Wilson, the newlyweds stayed with Jim's aunt, Mrs. P.L. Woodard, until August when Jim's engineering work took 
him to Oriental. Joining him there, Dorsey learned a lot about cooking from the landlady, Mrs. Pickle. Because of the extremely 
bad roads and the impending birth of their first child, Dorsey returned to Wilson at Christmas time to stay with Jim's parents. 
Jim came home on weekends. James Davis Blount, Jr. was born in January. Because of the depression, Gladdings Engineering 
Company left Wilson, but Mr. Gladdings advised the Board of Commissioners to hire an engineer to do the city's work and to run 
the Street Department, recommending Jim for the new position. The Board took his advice and this enabled the family of three 
to settle permanently in their first home. Their daughter Adaline was born eight years after Jim, Jr., and both children grew up in 
First Baptist on the corner of Nash and Pine Streets. 

After graduating from Charles L. Coon High School, young Jim was stationed with the US Navy in Norfolk. He earned his 
undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his law degree from UNC-CH Law School. He 
currently practices law in Raleigh. He is married to the former Linda Cauthen and is the father of two sons, a daughter and a 
stepson, as well as the grandfather of two. Adaline attended Duke University two years and graduated from Vassar. She now 
lives in Potomac, Maryland, with her husband Morton Neely. She is the mother of four children, one daughter and three sons; 
sadly, one son died at age 30. Their daughter graduated from Georgetown Medical School and is interning in San Diego. After the 
children grew up, Adaline became a real estate agent. She is the grandmother of two also. 

Family has always been a top priority; Dorsey and Jim were very close to his parents and extended members of their generation. 
To celebrate her own 90th birthday, Dorsey took her son and daughter and their spouses on a trip to Bermuda. She continues to 
gather family members together as often as possible, even though they are scattered from coast to coast. She says she has no 
regrets about staying home with her children and that they were always a joy. She loves babies and thoroughly enjoys being a 
mother of two, grandmother of six and great-grandmother of four. Her brother Charles, along with others, began the first Southern 
Baptist missionary work in Indonesia. After his wife died, Dorsey and Jim visited him for a month in Hong Kong. He helped start 
the first English-speaking Baptist Church there. Dorsey was very impressed by the beautiful Baptist Hospital in Hong Kong and 
the far-reaching work carried on by those missionaries. While visiting Charles, Dorsey and Jim took him and his daughter on a 
"memory trip" to Indonesia. They also visited Bangkok, Djakarta, Bali, Manila and other places before returning to Hong Kong - a 
very memorable trip. 

While caring for her husband during his years of declining health, Dorsey designed, knitted and crocheted many afghans and 
bedspreads to match the color schemes of her children's and grandchildren's rooms as they grew up and moved from place to 
place. After her husband's death in 1 978, Dorsey became a volunteer tutor at Wells School. She was also a volunteer in the Wilson 
Memorial Hospital Gift Shop. This year, 1 996, marks the 70th year Dorsey has been a member of First Baptist Church! She began 
helping Mrs. Mattie Moss teach pre-schoolers in Sunday School when she started taking her own son. Later she became very 
active in Woman's Missionary Union, serving as Circle Chairman several terms and as President of WMU from 1943-45. During 
her children's school years, Dorsey did some substitute teaching. She was active in the Parent-Teacher Association, serving as 
the first woman president of the Charles L. Coon High School PTA, as well as president at Woodard Elementary School earlier. 
Still a member of the Wilson Woman's Club, she served as president from 1961-63. Dorsey Blount sets an excellent example for 
the Senior Adults. Although her health problems and medications have slowed her down a bit in the past two years, she is young 
in spirit and alert in mind. She believes in exercising her mind as well as her body. She says the less you do, the less you can 
do. So she remains as active as possible physically and is interested in everything that goes on in her family, her church and her 
community, both local and worldwide. (12/16/01) 

Bob and Sallie Boswell 
"The Senior Scene" February 1994 

On December 7, 1941, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. On December 7, 1941, Bob and I met. 
That day was a beautiful Indian summer day. My girlfriend and I were strolling in our neighborhood 
when we saw Bob and his relative driving down the road in front of our house. That was the 
beginning of high school at Charles L. Coon. Bob drove the school bus for my area, so I was 
guaranteed the front seat of the bus. Because of gas rationing during World War II, our mode of 
transportation was a bicycle and our feet. Bob rode his bicycle from his home on Highway 301 
North to my home, which was located on what is now Forest Hills Road, a distance of about six 
miles. When we went to a movie downtown, we walked. On the way home, we would stop at the 
Sunset Service Station on Raleigh Road and enjoy the best hot dogs and hamburgers we ever 
tasted. We made friends with the older couple who owned the station. Because of war and the 
shortage of gas, we could walk for long lengths of time and not even see a car. They were good 
days except for the tragedy of the war. We saw boys from our classes go off to war, and we knew 

11 




that a few of them would not come home. 

Bob and I were born and raised in Wilson County. Bob's family lived on West Vance Street for many years, and I love to hear him 
tell of his childhood — how he and his friends played hockey on roller skates in the streets near Atlantic Christian College, how his 
pony would go home when the sun went down, and how he had a paper route of more than ten miles and made a little money. 
He had a great childhood. 

My family was farmers. We farmed 365 days a year, because my daddy could find chores that had to be done each and every day. 
We not only grew tobacco, cotton and corn, but we had what seemed like acres of garden. As I look back, I am so very grateful 
that I had the opportunity to tend a portion of God's good earth. 

Bob and I were married November 8, 1 945, at our church parsonage. The Reverend Clyde Baucom performed the ceremony with 
our families attending. Our first home was an upstairs apartment at 31 3 S. Tarboro Street. Memories of carrying buckets of coal up 
the stairs are still very vivid. Our first child, Sue was born while we lived there. In 1948, we moved to another upstairs apartment 
at 1208 S. Tarboro Street; and in 1949, we moved into a five-room house on Highway 301 North. While living in that house, we 
experienced the construction of the present 301 Highway. The house was moved from the original location to another foundation 
while the children slept! Our family increased by two as Mary and Sallie were added to our nest. In 1956, Bob and I bought our 
first house at 506 Walton Street, and in 1957, our son, Rob was born. 

First Baptist Church has always been an integral part of our lives. Bob's family were members for many years; when Bob was 15 
years old, he made his profession of faith and was baptized in the old church. In 1949, 1 moved my membership from New Hope 
Missionary Baptist to FBC. Our four children were dedicated, made professions of faith and were baptized in this church. They 
have many memories of GA's, choirs and Scouts that they still talk about. Bob and I treasure the many experiences we have 
shared with our fellow Christians. 

Bob's mother often said that Bob's life would center around cars because one of the first words he learned to read was "cars." 
And cars were his means of earning a living for his family. He was an exceptional mechanic for many years. He knew how a motor 
ought to run and he had the ability to make everything right. He worked with Corbett Motor Company for nearly 40 years. After I 
graduated from high school I worked at Wilson Credit Bureau. That was an experience getting paid for being nosy! After Sue was 
born, I did not return to work outside our home until Sue enrolled in college. Working at First Baptist opened the doors to many 
experiences and also added to the children's college funds. 

Bob and I have traveled few miles in distance, but many miles in experiences of love, caring, sharing and being family. We have 
been to the mountain tops many times, and have dwelt in the valleys and felt the love of Jesus through our church family. My 
favorite hymn has a line that goes something like this — "grant me courage, grant me wisdom for the living of these days. " God 
has provided this and much more. And, as I think about the days to come, I still look forward to experiencing the many, many ups 
and downs of being FAMILY. By Sallie Boswell 



Adelle Boyd 
"The Senior Scene" June 2001 

Mabel Adelle Winstead was born on September 12 in Rocky Mount to Leigh and Bradford Winstead. She grew up there and 
graduated from Rocky Mount High School. Adelle met Luther Holton Boyd through her brother and double-dated him with her 
brother when she was 16 and Holton was 21 . They dated but did not become serious until 1939 after Holton returned from three 
years' active service in the U. S. Army. Adelle and Holton Boyd were married on June 12, 1940 in the First Methodist Church of 
Rocky Mount. Three years later their daughter, Sherron, was born. When Sherron was only one year old, Holton had to leave for 
Europe for two years' military service during World War II. When he returned, he joined the police force in Rocky Mount. 

I 

In 1951, Holton began working with Sidney Blumenthal (later Burlington Industries) and the family moved 

to Wilson. After visiting several churches, they decided to join First Baptist because of the warmth and 

friendliness found there. Having worked at Efird's in Rocky Mount, Adelle already had a friend, Margie 

Efird, at First Baptist in Wilson. After the church moved from Nash and Pine Streets into the present 

church building, Holton who was a Methodist, joined First Baptist and was baptized. 

Adelle served on the Chancel and Flower Committees for a number of years. She started helping Margie 
Efird in the five-year-old Sunday School department and worked there for about 15 years in the 50s 
and 60s. She stopped after her mother died in order to help care for her father. Although he had a 
housekeeper during the week, Adelle, Holton and Sherron visited him every weekend to cook for the 
coming week, clean what the housekeeper didn't, pay monthly bills and do whatever was needed. 

12 




In 1952, Adelle went to work for Burlington Industries and continued there for 26 years. 

For three of those years, she worked at night so that either she or Holton could be with Sherron and later she changed to daytime 
hours. While working as a personnel secretary at Burlington, she met a young personnel trainee just out of college by the name 
of Henry Skinner. She got to know him and through the years, the bond of friendship has grown between Henry, his wife, Carol, 
and Adelle. Because of the care and concern given Adelle by Henry and Carol, the relationship has deepened since the death of 
Holton in 1997. Adelle was a member of the Exchangettes (wives of Exchange Club members) and volunteered doing secretarial 
work at the United Way with Marcia Parker. Adelle is a wonderful cook whose desserts and chocolate fudge are greatly enjoyed 
by her family and neighbors (just ask C. C. Burriss). She also enjoys collecting antiques, painting under instruction by Clara 
Flanagan at Wilson Technical College, sewing and doing crossword puzzles. 

Adelle says that she has been blessed in many ways. She and Holton had 56 years of wonderful companionship. The Lord has 
also blessed her with Sherron, who is a joy, and her son- in-law, Dan Moore, who is a very special and giving person. Dan's 
handyman abilities are a blessing to First Baptist Church, as well as to Adelle. Sherron was a fourth-grade teacher and Dan 
a middle-school principal before they retired and moved to Wilson in the summer of 1998 to be near Adelle. To keep Adelle 
company and add joy to her life is Precious, her seal point Himalayan cat. 

First Baptist Church has been and still is a very meaningful place for Adelle Boyd to find peace and to experience the love of 
God. She enjoys the messages of Dr. Douglas Murray at church and by radio at home. Clyde Patterson's beautiful music in the 
service adds a special dimension to her worship time. Adelle is a longtime faithful member and thankful for the love and support 
of Christian friends at First Baptist Church. 

Janie Reid and Ernest Broadhurst 
"The Senior Scene" November 2000 

Janie Reid Phillips was born on March 21, 1920, in Ayden, North Carolina, the only child of Daniel 
Walter and Marjorie Moore Phillips. She grew up in Pitt County and graduated from East Carolina 
Teachers College, having earned her teaching degree. After graduation, she went to work in Greenville 
with Branch Banking & Trust Company and later with Export Leaf Tobacco Company. She also began 
her teaching career in Pitt County. Ernest Eugene Broadhurst was born in 1 908 in Seven Springs. Janie 
Reid met Ernest and they went together several years before being married in Greenville on November 
11, 1942. For a few years they made their home there where their daughter, Janet was born. Later 
they moved to Washington, North Carolina, where their second daughter, Susan was born. The family 
moved to Wilson in 1951 when Ernest was transferred here as Freight Agent for Norfolk Southern 
Railroad. 

In 1 953, the family moved into their new home on Thurston Drive, where Janet and Susan grew up. Also 
in 1953, Janie Reid resumed her career of teaching first and second grades at Winstead Elementary 

School, transferring to Vinson-Bynum when it first opened and retiring in 1 976 from Wells Elementary School for medical reasons. 

Since then, she has been a member of the Wilson County Retired Teachers Association. Janie Reid became a widow when 

Ernest died in 1 989, and she lived in the Thurston Drive home for a total of 45 years before moving next door to Janet and Tommy 

in 1998. 

Janet graduated from East Carolina University in 1967 and taught high school mathematics at Greenfield School in Wilson. She 
earned her Master's degree in 1970 and became Headmaster of Greenfield in 1987. She is married to Thomas Edward Beaman, 
Sr., President of Mello Buttercup. They have one son, Thomas Edward Beaman, Jr., an Archeologist with Historic Sites, Cultural 
Resources Division of the State of North Carolina. Tom graduated from Appalachian State University and is now working on his 
thesis for a Master's degree in Archeology. He is also very involved with the Playhouse, a nonprofit organization that produces a 
variety of three plays each year in downtown Wilson's Edna Boykin Cultural Center. 

The Broadhursts' younger daughter, Susan, graduated from East Carolina University in 1 970 with a Bachelor of Music Education 
degree. She taught Band for several years before she started working as the Parish Administrator for the Church of the Good 
Shepherd, an Episcopal Church in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, where she and her family are active members. She resigned her 
job in November 1 999, and is now a homemaker. Susan married Robert Wade Edwards, who is Personal Trust Services Manager 
at Centura Bank. Susan and Robert have three children, Kamden Elizabeth, Robert Grant, and Cassie Faith. Kamden, a graduate 
of Appalachian State was a Special Education teacher. She is in graduate school at East Carolina University and is engaged to 
be married December 30. Grant, an accountant, will receive his Master's degree from ECU in December. Cassie, a high school 
senior, has her own horse that she trained, gives riding lessons, has ridden in many horse shows and has won numerous awards. 
She plans to attend ECU and study Criminal Psychology. 

Janie Reid and Ernest joined First Baptist Church at Nash and Pine Streets in 1952 soon after moving to Wilson and became 

13 




very active members. Naturally, Janet and Susan participated in Sunday school and the activities for children and youth. Ernest's 
brother, Jack and his family were also First Baptist members, making Duran Broadhurst the nephew of Janie Reid. A lot of 
Senior Adults will remember that for many years Janie Reid taught children in the Sunday School four-year-old department. She 
participated in a host of church activities, acting as Treasurer of the Friendship Sunday School Class for many years, always 
active in WMU, Senior Adults, with whom she enjoyed traveling, Senior Adult Choir, Friday Morning Bible Study, and the Sewing 
Group. The Sewing Group was a 'lifesaver' because it was started only one week after Janie Reid retired. When her daughters 
were growing up, Janie Reid sewed all their clothes. She was adept at candlewicking and other needlecraft projects. Janie Reid 
and Ernest were two of the original Sunday School greeters that Burdette Robinson recruited, and Janie Reid's smiling face and 
friendly greeting at the Park Avenue entrance were a "fixture" for years. 

One of the most memorable events in Janie Reid's life happened in the Spring of 1970 when both her daughters and both her 
sons-in-law all graduated from East Carolina University on the same day! Janet received her Master's degree and the others their 
undergraduate degrees. It is interesting that Susan's children make the fourth generation to graduate from ECU. 

When Janie Reid was only five years old her father died. Her mother had a teaching certificate from East Carolina Teachers 
College; however, both the college records and State records in Raleigh had been destroyed by fire and she had to return to East 
Carolina Teachers College in order to teach. While her mother was in class, Janie Reid would stay in the car outside the building 
where different students and employees would chat with her, take her for snacks, etc. One professor recognized Janie Reid's 
name when she became his student and said, "Oh, you are the little girl who sat outside in the car while your mother was in my 
class." 

In her spare time, Janie Reid enjoyed playing bridge, reading and bird-watching, her favorite being the brilliant cardinal. Her back 
yard is full of bird feeders and a large variety of beautiful roses, which were planted by Kathryn and Herman Easom for his sister 
Alma, who lived in Janie Reid's condominium before her death. 

Janie Reid Broadhurst is gentle, kind, friendly and like the song "Sweet and Lovely." Parents of her former students say that 
she was a good teacher. Friends say that she is very "appreciative and never finds fault. She is a loving person/definitely the 
grandmotherly type, who forms close family relationships (including in-laws). Many friends describe Janie Reid as an extra 
special person." We have really missed her these last months and pray she will be back amongst us soon. (Janie Reid 3/9/01 
and Ernest 10/13/89) 

Alice Browder 
"The Senior Scene" February 2002 

She is not a Senior Adult yet but she has traveled with us on two or three of our adventures and enjoyed 
the trips so much she is anxiously looking forward to the next time she can join us. 

Alice Malone Browder was born on a January 27 in Portsmouth, Virginia, to James W. Jr. and Alice Malone 
Browder. The family moved to Suffolk when her father, who worked on the railroad, was transferred there 
while Alice was in college. Both her father and grandfather worked for the railroad, her grandfather as an 
engineer and her father as an engine stoker before working his way up to engineer. The family moved to 
Lawrenceville, Virginia, because of her father's work. Her mother still resides there. Alice has one older 
brother, James III, who is an Episcopal Priest in Courtland, Virginia. He is not married and lives close 
enough to visit their mother fairly often. Alice's father died less than a year ago. 

Both Alice's paternal grandfather and her great-grandmother lived with the family in a crowded apartment 
when she was a young child. She and her grandfather adored each other and had a very close 
relationship. Alice credits her love for older people to her grandfather, who was most humble and very compassionate. After her 
great-grandmother was placed in a nursing home Alice spent a lot of time visiting her and the other residents. Therefore, Alice 
feels very much at ease in any nursing care facility. 

After graduating from the public school in Lawrenceville, Alice entered Louisburg College, following in her brother's footsteps. 
She transferred to Atlantic Christian College in Wilson to complete her last two years of college where she earned her Bachelor of 
Science Degree in Elementary Education. Later, she completed her Master's Degree in Education with a major in Library Science 
at East Carolina University in Greenville. She is a Media Specialist at Vinson-Bynum School, where they have around 660 
students in Kindergarten through Grade Five. She has come full circle since doing her student teaching at Vinson-Bynum thirty- 
four years ago! Alice took her first teaching job at Wells School in 1968, teaching 5th and 7th grades. Later she taught 5th and 
6th grades at Elvie School. After receiving her Master's Degree, she became the Media Specialist at Barnes School for the next 
twenty years. She then became Librarian at Daniels Learning Center where there were 140 students below grade level, as well as 
ESL (English as a Second Language) students. She has been back at Vinson-Bynum for two years, making a total of thirty-three 
years in the education field. And, of course, she has been active in each school- Parent Teacher Association all of those years. 

14 




To look at her, no one would believe she could have chalked up that many years. She has one of those perennially-young, always- 
smiling faces that makes you enjoy being in her company. At the beginning of her teaching career, she was mistaken for a 7th 
grader and was asked to return to the cafeteria to wait with the other students for the bell to ring! 

Although Alice was originally a Methodist, she joined First Baptist Church soon after moving to Wilson. She became a youth 
leader even before she became a church member! She is the Barnabas Committee Co-Chairperson, a member of Baptist 
Women Group V, the Ruth Sunday School Class and Wednesday night cooking team. She serves on the Library and Memorial 
Committees and also does Outreach Visiting on Sunday afternoons. Many years ago, Alice heard through the church that Ada 
Newton Felton, former member and dedicated Sunday School teacher of young women, had entered Wilson Convalescent 
Center (now Britthaven) and needed someone just to walk with her. Alice filled that need and more, and that was the beginning of 
her ministry to First Baptist people in need. She became so deeply involved in loving and caring for Mrs. Felton that she moved 
into a nearby apartment for convenience. 

Another one of her favorite First Baptist people was Estelle Speight, whom she met while she was in the Atlantic Christian College 
Infirmary. Mrs. Speight was the Infirmary Nurse and took care of Alice while she recuperated form pneumonia. In later years, 
when Mrs. Speight needed help, Alice was there for her. Alice also became a close friend and caregiver of Rachel Alford, a long- 
time church member, during her last illness. It was there Alice met her Barnabas partner who was also helping Mrs. Alford. Alice 
and her partner feel that they complement each other in serving together, that it was God's plan to bring them together under 
these circumstances and make then very close friends. Alice's face lights up whenever she encourages anyone to become a 
Barnabas minister, although everyone who ministers to another in First Baptist Church already is a Barnabas minister. 

Alice is totally truthful with everyone and believes in doing unto others what she would want them to do unto her. Her father always 
told people to tell Alice the truth about what to expect and she would be fine. When she was about seven years old, she asked 
her dentist not to inject her gums with Novocain, and he assured her he would not. But when she saw him reach for the needle 
anyway, she bit him and ran out of his office. Even now, she says just don't tell her to expect one thing and then do something 
else! 

When Alice was in her twenties, she mowed grass for extra money in order to take piano lessons from Dorothy Patterson for a 
year or so. Her favorite pastimes are music, dancing, walking and reading. She is happiest when she is helpiug someone. She 
says she just has a care-giving nature and considers herself a caregiver. She is a very kind, compassionate and loving person, 
full of energy and willingness to do anything for anyone. She is friendly, outgoing, and doesn't mind claiming to be a "hugger." 
She loves God's beautiful world and looks on the bright side of everything. She has a wonderful way with words and expresses 
herself beautifully. She says her life is richer and full of joy and wonderful blessings because of the people in First Baptist Church. 
She confesses that she is a simple person and lives a simple life and that if she had her life to live over, she would do exactly the 
same things the same way~OR do a little more and be a little better person. 

Roger and Carol Bullard 
"The Senior Scene" May 2001 

Although Carol was born December 17, 1937 in Oklahoma City, the third child of four with one 
brother and two sisters, the family returned to Abbeville, South Carolina where her father had 
grown up. He owned and operated an antique business called Noah's Ark, because it had a little 
of everything in it. Her parents are now deceased, but interestingly, her mother's maiden name 
was "Cheney." 

She attended Abbeville public schools and subsequently graduated from Furman University in 
Greenville, South Carolina with a BS Degree majoring in Biology and minoring in Education. She 
then taught high school Chemistry, Physics, Biology and General Science in Lancaster, South 
Carolina for two years. 

Roger was born August 1, 1937 in Memphis, Tennessee and was the oldest of three children, 
having one brother and one sister. His father, now 91, and his mother, 87, keep in touch with the family by-mail. After attending 
Memphis public schools, Roger graduated from Union University, a Baptist College in Jackson, Tennessee. In 1959 he received 
his Master of Classics degree (Latin, Hebrew and Greek languages) from the University of Lexington. He entered Southeastern 
Baptist Theological Seminary in the Fall of 1959 and Carol entered a year later. Because she did not have her picture made, the 
registrar would not register her in Seminary. By the time she complied, half of the courses she wanted were already filled, so she 
ended up taking Pastoral Care sitting at a desk right next to a young man named Roger Bullard! Carol Hawthorne and Roger 
Bullard were married May 21, 1961. Roger graduated from Southeastern in 1962, while Carol earned her PHT (Putting Hubby 
Through). Roger finished Seminary in 1 962 and they moved to Nashville, Tennessee. Roger worked that summer for the Christian 
Life Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. Carol was editorial assistant in the Music Department of the Baptist Sunday 
School Board. Roger began his Ph.D. studies at Vanderbilt University in the Fall of 1962, while Carol taught high school sciences 

15 




at North Nashville High School. Carol finished Seminary in 1963 and that summer she attended Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New 
York for Advanced Chemistry. In the summer of 1964, she began her Master's program in General Sciences. In 1965 Roger 
presented his Ph.D. Dissertation titled "Translation from the Coptic of Hypostasis of the Archons" in Coptic language. 

Carol and Roger moved to Wilson in May 1965 where Roger held the position of Associate Professor of Religion at Atlantic 
Christian College. Their older son, Kenneth, was born October 12, 1965, and a little over three years later, their second son, 
Floyd, was born on January 27, 1969. The boys were regular attendees to Sunday School, Church, Choirs, Handbells, Drama, 
etc. In the 1970-1971 school year, Carol taught English and Science part-time at St. Therese School (Grades 2 - 6). By this time, 
she had taught every grade except 1, 7 and 8. Carol and Roger joined First Baptist Church less than a month after moving to 
Wilson. Carol sang in the Sanctuary Choir until their two sons wanted her to sit with them in Church. When they outgrew that, 
Carol rejoined the Choir and taught teenage girls in Sunday School, including Sally and Marcia Bussey, Mona Whitley and Paula 
Little. She also kept the nursery one year, and remembers that Joe Warenda was one of her "infants." 

Carol is currently in four choirs: Sanctuary, Senior Adult, Spiritsong, and Handbells. She is Secretary of the Board of Deacons, 
teaches the Ruth Sunday School Class one month out of three, is active in WMU (Baptist Women) and serves on several 
committees, including the Spanish Mission Committee, Personnel Committee of the Board of Deacons, the Denominational 
Relations Committee and Wednesday night cooking team. In the community, Carol has been on Wilson's Human Relations 
Commission about ten years and participated in Bridges (an interracial church bridge-building group). Roger leads special Bible 
Studies in Sunday School and Church, usually twice a year. He was on the Pastor Search Committee of Jim Jarrard and Doug 
Murrray, and he currently serves on the Worship Committee. 

In 1970, Roger began working on the translation team for American Bible Society and helped translate Good News for Modern 
Man. He was Associate Editor of the Mercer Commentary on the Bible, The Abbingdon Dictionary of Living Religions (Christian, 
Muslim, Buddhism, etc., and the Mercer Dictionary of the Bible. He wrote a book entitled Messiah: Gospel According to Handel's 
Oratorio, and Minister of Music Clyde Patterson says that the opening of the book is written exactly as he would have expressed it. 
Adult Sunday School classes who use the "Formations Learner's Study Guide" will find Roger Bullard's name under "Bibliography" 
for Easter Sunday, April 15, 2001, on Page 128. Carol began working at the new Firestone factory as Chemical Engineer in March 
1974. Roger was teaching Greek, New Testament, Old Testament and Bible Courses at Atlantic Christian College. 

Carol and Roger retired in 1994. One of their life goals was to travel, so a month after Carol retired, they vacationed at Lake 
Mattamuskeet in December! Two months later, they went to the Florida Everglades (which DO have mosquitoes in wintertime she 
says). Since then, they have traveled to most states and National Parks. They enjoy hiking, photography and sightseeing. Last 
summer, Carol went with Doug Murray and the group from our Church to Israel and Egypt. Upon her return home, she barely 
had time to do her laundry and repack before leaving for Alaska less than a week later. This year they have plans to travel to 
the Northwest in May and to Australia and New Zealand in June. Besides traveling, they enjoy reading and working crossword 
puzzles. Carol makes pottery and stained glass, which she has donated to the Brotherhood Auctions. She is an outdoors person 
and also enjoys working in the yard. Kenneth is married to the former Anita Goins and they live inAsheville, North Carolina where 
he is assistant manager at Barnes and Noble. Floyd teaches math at his high school Alma Mater, the North Carolina School of 
Science and Mathematics in Durham. 

Carol and Roger Bullard are bound to stay busy - their accomplishments are many. The words that come to mind in describing the 
Bullards are "intelligent, knowledgeable, intellectual." They are very talented and most competent in everything they do; both have 
the gift of music, although Roger Chooses not to sing publicly. According to Clyde Patterson, Carol can sing wherever he needs 
her - as an alto or second soprano. Carol and Roger are very caring and thoughtful of others, not only in words but in deeds, 
often visiting the sick among Carol's deacon families, as well as many others. It is well known among those who have attended 
Roger's Bible studies that he conducts especially interesting sessions, drawing on his vast knowledge without a lot of notes. His 
Bible translations are not literal but selected specifically for the people of a certain culture and language, i.e., for South Africans 
who have never seen snow, his translation might read, "Jesus' blood washed me as white as an egret's feather." He comes 
by foreign stamps often and gladly shares them. It is said that Carol would give you the "shirt off her back"; she is a very good 

"handywoman," helpful to others who need simple repairs and chores performed. She is a good 
listener, as well as a good advisor and keeps people laughing with her great sense of humor. Carol 
and Roger Bullard are wonderful people, deeply committed Christians and most certainly a 
tremendous credit to First Baptist Church, the academic society, the City of Wilson and the world 
beyond. 

C. C. Burriss 
"The Senior Scene" March 1993 

C. C. Burriss was born and raised in South Carolina. He found his wife, Maude, in South Georgia 
and they have been married for 59 years. In the mid 1940's, C. C. worked for the mortgage loan 
department of Metropolitan Life Insurance Company in Charlotte, North Carolina. At age 30, C. 
C. was elected a Deacon at First Baptist. One of his friends told him that he thought you had to 
have a beard down to your waist before you could become a Deacon in that church. In late 1948, 

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Metropolitan transferred C. C. to Dothan, Alabama. Just ten months later, C. C. received a letter from their New York Office saying 
that they thought he could do the company more good if he moved to Wilson, North Carolina. He and Mrs. Burriss carne to Wilson 
and found a place to live on October 1 , 1949. 

Two weeks after arriving in Wilson, they joined First Baptist Church. Shortly thereafter, C. C. found himself teaching Sunday 
School. He has taught Sunday School in our church for 43 years. He has served on the Board of Deacons for numerous terms 
and served as Chairman. C. C. has served on various committees throughout the years and has made a great contribution to 
First Baptist. 

In the last four years, Mrs. Burriss has been in declining health and that has curtailed some of C. C.'s activities. However, he still 
teaches his Sunday School Class, and he enjoys coming to the men's exercise class and other activities when he can. C. C. loves 
First Baptist and he will tell anyone that he and Mrs. Burriss could not have made it these last four years without the help of the 
"GOOD FOLKS" at First Baptist. Like our pastor so often says, "IT'S GOOD TO BE THE CHURCH." (4/23/06) 

Bill and Barbara Bussey 
"The Senior Scene" June 1994 

Barbara Ann Johnson Bussey was born in Batavia, New York, and lived there for two years until her 
family moved to Hollidaysburg, PA. Barbara enjoyed returning to Batavia to visit her grandparents 
during her childhood. Soon after Barbara graduated from high school in Pitcairn (near Pittsburgh), 
her family moved to Florence, S. C. Bill's family lived in Andrews, S. C, but he was born in 
Richmond, Virginia. His mother chose a Richmond obstetrician who specialized in diabetes. His 
family moved from Andrews to Florence when he was seven and he graduated from high school 
there. He subsequently graduated from Furman University with a degree in Political Science and 
planned to go to law school. However, World War II interfered, and he joined the Army Air Corps to 
become a communications field officer. He served two of his three years' active duty in the South 
Pacific as a control tower operator at an air base weather station. 

After his mother was hospitalized with cancer, Bill was given an emergency furlough to visit her. 

It so happened that Barbara was a senior student nurse at the same hospital. Their parents were 
friends, and Barbara's father actually introduced them. (Bill says that her father picked him out for her). Bill served more time in 
service, but never had to return overseas. Barbara's and Bill's best friends were brother and sister, and they, along with other 
friends, enjoyed going to dances. (Barbara says that Bill was a very good dancer.) 

Bill had always debated whether to follow his father into the ministry or to become a lawyer. He had been accepted at law school 
but two weeks before the term started, he suddenly decided to enter the ministry. He enrolled at Southern Seminary in Louisville, 
KY. After one semester, he came home for Christmas to find Barbara excited about the dances she and their friends were 
planning to attend. However, Bill was now committed to the theology of Southern Baptists and decided that dancing was "one of 
the new sins he'd learned about." Even though Barbara had been dating other young men and had two new dance dresses, Bill 
refused to go to the dances. Therefore, Barbara gave up dancing also and never got to wear her pretty new dresses. That was 
the Christmas they became engaged. 

Soon afterwards, he wrote to inform her he had found her a job as a nurse in the Seminary infirmary. Although she had a fall 
scholarship to study anesthesiology, she elected to marry Bill the following summer. She worked in the infirmary two years. While 
they were at the Seminary, Barbara was once reprimanded for "knitting on Sunday" by a Texan. When Bill had finished all the 
requirements for his Ph.D. except his thesis, he accepted a call to Chester, S. C. During the 11 1/2 years they were there, they 
were blessed with three daughters, Susan, Sally and Marcia. All three were born in Florence due to pregnancy problems. 

Virginia Kelly and her late husband, Hugh, have relatives in Chester and attended Bill's church while visiting there. In 1962, 
Hugh recommended that our First Baptist Search Committee visit Chester to hear Bill and we are very grateful that the Busseys 
accepted our call. After serving over 25 years as our beloved pastor, he retired in 1988 and became our Pastor Emeritus. Bill now 
serves as pastor of the Stanhope Baptist Church in Nash County on the second and fourth Sundays. He teaches the First Baptist 
Adult IV Men's Class one Sunday a month. He spends a lot of time reading, exercising, landscaping and caring for their beautiful 
yard. Barbara enjoys needlework and reading. She has led the First Baptist Sewing Group for many years and is a volunteer with 
Hope Station, as well as a past volunteer with Meals on Wheels. 

Their eight grandchildren (hence, their "8 GRAND" license plate) are their greatest joy these days. They try to attend all the 
sporting events of the grandchildren. Marcia and Edward Eatmon prepare a computerized monthly calendar of Sharon and 
Eddie's schedules. Susan and Tommy Toms also furnish a monthly calendar of Heidi, Justin and William's events. When there is 
a conflict, Barbara and Bill split up and each attends one function. Sometimes there are back to back games lasting three or four 
hours; and sometimes cousins compete against each other on rival teams. The Busseys also spend time in Raleigh visiting Sally, 

17 




her husband, William Plyler and their three children, Settle, Will and Brent (B.B.) Bussey. There are so many "Williams" in the 
family they have to listen carefully at family gatherings to determine exactly which one is being called or referred to — Bill Bussey, 
William Toms, William Plyler or Will Plyler. 

The Busseys recently enlarged and enclosed their back porch with glass into a comfortable sitting, eating and relaxing area 
with a beautiful view of their attractive fish pool and lovely plantings. Everyone in the extended family enjoys Grandmother's 
and Granddaddy's loving hospitality. Heidi is staying with her grandparents this summer and will attend Summer Adventures, a 
program in Math and Science at UNC-Charlotte for one month. 

We are thankful the Busseys came our way, led our spiritual walk and enriched our lives those 25 years. We are happy that they 
made Wilson "home," where they continue to bless anyone crossing their path. 

Lottie Camden 
"The Senior Scene" April 1997 

Lottie Hudson was born on a farm in Patrick County near Stuart, Virginia. She was the last of 11 children- 
-six boys and five girls. By the time she was four and a half, she was orphaned, both parents having died 
eight months apart. She then lived with various family members until she graduated from high school. 

When Lottie was growing up, she claims to have been a tomboy, climbing trees, playing marbles, etc. 
with her brothers. When she was little, two brothers would hold her hands and let her walk under water, 
lifting her up to breathe. When she was about four, she followed her brothers down to a spring and fell 
into a culvert head first while trying to see her reflection. One brother missed her and said, "Where's the 
baby?"; then they saw her feet sticking up and her brother Harvey grabbed her. He loved to tease, and 
one of the things he said before he died last November was, "That's the biggest mistake I ever made!" 

When Lottie graduated from high school at age 16, she had five brothers and one sister in Roanoke, so 
she went to Roanoke Business College for a year, finishing in 1925. Afterwards, she worked at Kress's 
and for an interior decorator. Lottie met William Olin Camden when his brother hired her as bookkeeper for their auto parts 
business. He was a master machinist who worked on diesel engines. They were married about a year later and continued to live 
in Roanoke, where their daughter, Nancy was born. They moved around for several years because of the Great Depression and 
were living in Fincastle, Virginia, when their son, Billy was born. Olin met the late D. J. Thurston of Wilson (former member of First 
Baptist) in Richmond and was soon hired to come to Wilson to work for Thurston Motor Lines, which Olin did until he retired. The 
Camdens' youngest child, Olinda, was born in Wilson and named for her father. 

Lottie Camden had a talent for looking at dress styles (such as in Sears-Roebuck catalogs) and making the dress without a 
pattern. She made Nancy's graduation dress by looking at a portrait in their living room, later adding long sleeves for it to become 
Nancy's wedding dress. She also made a few prom gowns and wedding dresses for people other than family. Olinda remembers 
feeling very secure as a young child playing around her mother's feet at the sewing machine. 

After Olinda started school, Lottie worked for many years as the alterations lady at Barshay's Ladies Shop. She then managed 
Wilson Woman's Club Thrift Shop for 11 years. Following her husband's death in 1970, Lottie trained and worked with Eldercare 
as a nurse's aide for 18 years under the late Harriet Strickland. She was on night duty most of that time and usually stayed with 
each patient for months at a time. 

As a teenager, Lottie joined Melrose Baptist Church in Roanoke. When her letter of membership was transferred to First Baptist 
in Wilson, the late Lottie Frances Collins, Church Secretary, greeted her very warmly because she, too, had come from Roanoke. 
In the old church at Nash and Pine Streets, Lottie Camden led the Baptist Young People's Union for a short time after Annabelle 
Thurston gave it up. Lottie remembers planning a church dinner for 80 people with Janie Griffin and now departed souls Florence 
Sumner, Louise Austin and others. Lottie bought rum cakes from Shealy's Bakery, but didn't tell Pastor Baucom the ingredients. 
He enthusiastically enjoyed two pieces. Lottie also helped in the Nursery, was a member of WMU, sang in the Senior Adult Choir 
for a short time, and was active in Senior activities, often bringing her neighbor and close friend, Edna Askew. 

Talent is inherited-Lottie said that her husband's father was very musically talented, being able to pick up any musical instrument 
and play it without music. She is thankful her three children are artistically and musically talented. Nancy uses her artistic talent in 
FBC working on the Chrismon Committee and as Sunday School Director and teacher of Kindergarten and Grade One students 
with helpers Olinda and neighbor Becky Albus O'Neal, great-granddaughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. W. M. Jones, former FBC 
members. Mr. Jones was the contractor who built the new church. Becky, her husband, daughter and mother live next door to 
the Camdens, and the two families are very close friends. Becky and her husband have been very attentive to Lottie and Olinda, 
bringing food when they were sick, helping in the yard, checking on Lottie while Olinda worked, and many other kind deeds. Becky 
and her three sisters were raised in First Baptist. Becky's daughter, Christine, started going to Sunday School with Nancy and 

18 



Olinda several years ago; now mother and daughter are almost always present at Wednesday activities and Sunday services. 
Christine calls Lottie "Nana Camden," which of course delights Lottie. 

Nancy worked about ten years with Carolina Telephone and twenty years with Title I Reading Program, as well as one year in 
public schools. She married Bruce Jernigan, and their children grew up in First Baptist. Margaret works at Raleigh Community 
Hospital as a Laboratory Technologist, and Allen is with Merck. Nancy's step-daughter, Becky Jernigan Finch, has one son, is a 
published poet and has a lab on their farm, where she clones blueberry bushes to sell to foreign trade. Lottie's son Billy lives in 
Spokane, Washington. While in high school, he took voice lessons. He served in the Coast Guard in New York and had sea duty in 
Iceland and Greenland. He graduated from Westminster Choir College (Clyde Patterson's alma mater) in Princeton, New Jersey. 
Billy's voice teacher in New York said that he was one of the known most natural Wagnerian baritones in the United States. He 
has sung with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and the Seattle Opera Company. He is Minister of Music in his church, has 
taught choral music in the school system and has been guest soloist at Wilson First Baptist several times. He and his wife have 
one daughter and one granddaughter. 

Olinda took music lessons from the late Mrs. Ed Stallings, another former FBC member. Olinda received her degree in music 
education from Atlantic Christian College. She started teaching piano while still in college and taught music in various Wilson 
County Schools. She taught private piano lessons for 35 years and continues to teach three evenings a week. Olinda played in 
the first Handbell Choir of FBC, led by Don Hinshaw in the late fifties. Other ringers were Ida Ruth Walston Owens, Janie Bostick, 
Ann Hayes Daniel, Ann Simons Draughn and Bonnie Bailey Bilger. Olinda is presently on the Sound and Lighting Committee and 
accompanies a children's choir. She has done many kinds of crafts, including calligraphy, detailed painting on milk cans (mistaken 
for decals), painting and restoring furniture and frames. 

Olinda worked with Mr. Hubert Allen in his framing business before he was taken sick. While he was sick, she worked alone much 
of the time until Toby Moss started coming in to help which Olinda says was a godsend. After Mr. Allen's death, Olinda and Toby 
leased the business and now work together as Camden and Moss, Framers and Art Dealers. Olinda apparently inherited her 
father's ability to work with his hands, for she enjoys restoring frames, network detailing and framing. 

Olinda also must have inherited her mother's knack of being a tomboy and being rescued by her brother. Once she was up in 
a tree playing "telephone man" with a rope, when the rope broke and she fell- onto her back on top of a large protruding root. It 
knocked the breath out of her, and she could not speak or cry out, but her brother Billy suddenly ran to her and grabbed her up, 
restoring her breath. 

Lottie Camden is a nature lover and enjoys being outdoors. She is especially fond of mountains, trees and birds. The family 
has always had pets, usually a dog and cat at the same time; however, now they have two dogs and appreciate their alertness 
and protection. Jackie Brooks told them they no longer need a doorbell. Lottie collected rocks when she was young, but later 
collections include pressed glass, carnival glass, cut crystal, pitchers and odd dishes. She now spends some time with Olinda 
at work (to keep Olinda from being alone at times) reads a lot of autobiographies, and only watches a few favorite TV programs. 

Lottie Camden is modest and humble, caring and compassionate, outgoing and friendly, warm and witty. She enjoys having 
visitors, but does not drive and therefore cannot visit. She misses corning to Church and Church-related activities regularly, but 
enjoyed being at Sunday School recently. Even so, she is a loyal and faithful Christian, very devoted to First Baptist Church of 
Wilson. (9/11/09) 

Hilton and Frances Carlton 
"The Senior Scene" April 1994 

When Hilton and Milton Carlton were born in Edgecombe County, the bells were ringing-literally! 
The family rang the outdoor dinner bell to announce the news to everyone on the farm, their father 
in particular. The twins slept in a homemade incubator (heated bricks lining dresser drawers). The 
story goes that in order to have continuous crying, one would punch the other to tell him it was 
now his turn. The boys were the last of eleven children born to Thomas C. and Ida Crute Carlton. 

When the twins were five years old, they were selected as mascots for their older sister's graduation 
class in Nursing. Polly chose little Eton suits for them to wear. The boys absolutely refused to wear 
those "sissy suits," and Polly had to return them to the store. 

Frances Lancaster was born in Nash County, but she and Hilton grew up only four miles apart. 
Hilton dated Frances' best friend in high school, but broke up with her while he was stationed 
in Seoul, Korea with the U.S. Army (1945-1946). Upon returning home, he called Frances, who 
was a Senior in high school, and they continued to date while he studied at N.C. State and she at Meredith. They were married 
in 1952 and set up housekeeping in Wilson, where Hilton was the 4-H Agent. They have two sons, Lewis and Kelly and four 

19 




grandchildren: Emily, Eric, Donna, and David. They also have a twenty-three pound cat named Morris. Frances enjoys being 
a homemaker, grandmother, bookkeeper for Carlton Appraisal and Realty, a committee woman and floral designer. She is an 
experienced wedding director. 

They have been very active members of First Baptist for forty-two years. They do a lot of visiting and reaching out to those in need. 
Frances is Past President of the WMU and has served many years as a WMU Group Chairman. She received the WMU Woman 
of the Year Award for 1991-1992. She is a long-time Sanctuary choir member- she has served as Church Clerk, Sanctuary Flower 
Committee Chairman for many years and now Co-Chairman. Hilton is now serving his fourth term as Chairman of the Board of 
Deacons, two of the terms unprecedented consecutive service. Both are currently teaching Sunday School and active in Senior 
Adults, serving as Travel Co-Chairmen. He has served as Sunday School Superintendent and Department Director, both have 
served the Church in many other capacities over the years. 

Hilton is a member of the Executive Board of the East Carolina Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He has been Cubmaster 
of Pack 8 at First Baptist and received Scouting's highest award, the Silver Beaver. He received the Baptist denominational 
recognition, the Good Shepherd's Award, as well as the Green Band and Wood Badge Awards. After leaving the Agricultural 
Extension Service, Hilton worked at First Union National Bank twenty-seven years, becoming Vice President and Trust Officer. 
For eight years, he has been President of Carlton Management, now Carlton Appraisal and Realty Company. 

Hilton is a Rotarian and received the Rotarian of the Year in 1992. He was formerly President of the Civitan Club and a past 
member of the Agricultural Foundation of NO State University, as well as past President of the Fifth Reserve District of Agriculture 
Banker of America and past North Carolina Director of the American Appraisal Society, Director of the N. C. Appraisal Society, 
and past President of the Coastal Plain Planning and Development Committee. He was chairman of the Extension Advisory 
Board of Wilson County and Chairman of the local advisory board for Heritage Bank in Wilson. He is currently President of the 
Wilson county 4-H Foundation. We at First Baptist Church are very fortunate, indeed, to have amongst our midst two such willing 
servants of our Lord, who also find much time to serve their community. 

Esther Cherry 
"The Senior Scene" June 1997 

Esther Cherry was born to Joe and Mary Lena Williford Proctor and grew up in Wilson County with her 
three sisters. She says her father was stricter than her mother, who was very humble. They "sheltered" 
the girls, insisting on knowing their whereabouts and who they were with at all times. Loving and caring 
Christian parents, they raised their daughters to be moral and mannerly young ladies. 

Helping others was a priority to the Proctors. Esther remembers one Christmas when a family who 
lived on the farm had no money for Christmas because of much sickness. Esther's parents explained 
that she and her sisters would not receive as much as usual for Christmas, because they would share 
with the three children of the unfortunate family. 

Although they lived in the country, there were a lot of "city cousins" who liked visiting the Proctors' 
"boarding house" in the summer. Aunts and an uncle who lived alone were also frequent visitors. 
The family's happiest times were around the dinner table, with big meals, unhurried discussions and 
lots of company. In the summer, they had wiener roasts, with lemonade or homemade ice cream on 
the wrap-around porch. When Esther graduated from high school, she was undecided whether to become a nurse. Her mother 
discouraged such a "hard life" and wanted her to go to secretarial school, but Esther knew from her high school courses she 
did not want to be a secretary. She stayed out of school a while and lived with an aunt in Rocky Mount. Her first jobs were at 
Woolworth's and Bishop Laundry. There in Rocky Mount, Esther met her future husband, Amos T. "AT"' Cherry. After completing 
a business course at Atlantic Christian College, he became a bookkeeper for his brother-in-law. Esther and A. T. were married 
in June 1941. When they returned from their honeymoon, his orders from Uncle Sam had arrived in the mail. His orders were 
delayed, and their son, Gene, was a newborn when A. T. went into the Army, where he served for three years. 

While her husband was in service, Esther and Gene lived with her parents. His grandfather became a father figure for Gene, and 
they formed a very close bond. When A. T. came out of service, he started working with the N. C. State Employment Commission 
in Salisbury. The family lived there over two years before transferring to Rocky Mount. Their two sons, Joseph Eugene "Gene" 
and Amos Stephen "Steve," grew up in Rocky Mount. Gene is a graduate of N. C. State College, lives in Raleigh and works for the 
News and Observer, as well as a British newspaper. He travels around the world to cover all Olympic events for both papers. He 
has also written articles for Field and Stream. Steve graduated from N. C. Wesleyan, is Vice President of the Outdoor Department 
of Lewis Advertising Company and lives in Rocky Mount with his wife, the former Ruby Staubbs. Steve and Ruby, who is more like 
a daughter to Esther, have two children, Michael and Jennifer. Jennifer is married to Steve Johnson, and they have one daughter, 
Victoria, 3. Her grandchildren and great-granddaughter are the joy of Esther's life. 

20 




Esther stayed home with her sons until Steve was in second grade. She went to work with Sears, Roebuck in 1951 and worked 
26 years, most of them as a Division Manager and buyer for the Boys' Department. Her boss assigned her to that job because, 
"having two sons, she was knowledgeable about boys' clothing." During her career, Esther always saved a week's vacation for 
her family to spend with her parents. They alternated between vacations at the coast and mountains, because her father preferred 
the coast and her mother, the mountains. 

Esther took several college courses through Sears' Educational Institute. Her manager was a strong believer in continuing 
education. She has also had a decorating course and several courses on flower arranging. In recent years, she and three other 
women, including Margaret Morris, have participated in Elderhostel. They have been to Montreat, Lake Junaluska and Smith 
Mountain Lake, Virginia. They have studied a variety of topics, including Art, Irving Berlin Music, China-Old and New, Mark Twain, 
Leadership During the American Civil War and How to Take Charge of Your Life. They are now planning a trip to Seabrook Island, 
S. C. 

The Cherry's were members of Lakeside Baptist Church in Rocky Mount until they moved to Wilson and joined First Baptist in 
1964. Esther received the WMU Service Award for the years 1990-1991. She has been a WMU Circle Leader and Program Co- 
Chairman, President of Senior Adults and President of the Fidelis Class. She has served on the FBC Homebound Committee, 
Communion Committee and has been Co-Chair of the Decorations Committee. She and Margery Harris have decorated the 
Fellowship Hall Christmas tree for several years. 

Flowers are her trademark, as seen in her beautiful yard. She grows them, arranges them and happily shares them. She regularly 
visits the sick and bereaved and shares delicious examples of her culinary abilities, as well as flowers. Esther is very appreciative 
of the many fine people who make up this Church. She is particularly grateful to Carolyn Hill who helped her very much during a 
difficult time. Esther says Carolyn shows that she truly cares about and enjoys the relationship with older adults. Esther Cherry is 
a beautiful person in every way-kind, gentle, humble, caring, and a willing worker always busy helping others. Her parents would 
be well pleased. That Esther loves God, His people and the beauty of the world is obvious to anyone who knows her. She believes 
the best things in life are free. She is the epitome of the Senior Adult Motto: "JOY— Jesus, Others, Yourself." 



Gracie Clark 
"The Senior Scene" December 1990 



Angelo Patrisaid, "On Christmas Eve .... an enchantment falls upon the earth. It is a time when the spirit 
of a newborn child whose name is love, possesses the world .... ," On Christmas Eve in 1990, another 
child was born, an event surely celebrated with much happiness by her parents, Rev. R.M. Von Miller 
and his wife Annie Louise Clifton Von Miller. This young lady grew up and joined First Baptist Church, 
Wilson, and its choir on March 1, 1919, and was married to George P. Clark in First Baptist Church 
August 12, 1919. 

Mrs. Clark has served this church faithfully and enthusiastically for 70 years. Her positions of service 
have included: playing the piano in the Sunday School for most of the 70 years, assisting with the Junior 
Choir, serving as Chairman of the Church's Music Committee, arranging Christmas programs and plays, 
performing as a soloist for many years, assisting other churches in the city with music programs, doing 
needlework for our sanctuary Bible markers and pulpit table covers, making the Church's matching 
needlepoint wedding bench, dedicated to our Pastor Emeritus and Mrs. William R. Bussey, participating 
in the Bethany Class, the Woman's Missionary Union and many other activities. 




Mrs. Clark is particularly remembered for her participation in the march of the congregation from the old church site at Nash and 
Pine Streets to the present site for the dedication of the new church building and for her gift, in memory of her parents, of the pulpit 
Bible for the new church. Adelheid "Gracie" Von Miller Clark is the personification of the words "Faithful," "Dedicated," "Devoted," 
"Committed," "Caring" and "Loyal." Gracie, all the Senior Adults at First Baptist wish you a wonderful Christmas Eve birthday. (6/91 ) 




Onnie and Ann Cockrell 
"The Senior Scene" September 1993 

He was the coach and principal and he hired Ann Cowan from Powellsville to teach first grade at the 
Lewiston-Woodville School in Bertie County. Ann had started teaching in Askewville at 18 years of age 
after two years of Louisburg College. This was during World War II and teachers were hard to find. She 
had taught two years before meeting Onnie. They were married in December 1946. They remained in 
Lewiston two years, but Onnie did not enjoy being principal. He wanted to coach and teach history. So the 
two resigned and came to Rock Ridge in Wilson County. They lived in the teacherage, where Onnie's goal 
of coaching basketball, baseball, and football was fulfilled. 

21 



In May, 1949, their daughter, Pat, was born in the old Woodard-Herring Hospital. In a few months they realized they were the 
parents of a very special child. She was diagnosed with cerebral palsy in Baltimore, Maryland. For 12 years physical therapy, 
full-support braces, and many trips to doctors became a part of their lives. The Cockrell's wanted the best for Pat. They visited 
many places and were ready to move anywhere in order to find a day school for handicapped children. When Pat was 12 they 
were advised by a warm and caring orthopedic surgeon to accept Pat as she was, and for Ann to return to the classroom. Ann 
enrolled at Atlantic Christian College and graduated in 1962 with a degree in Primary Education. She started teaching first grade 
that fall in Rock Ridge. The church, community and school gave Onnie, Ann and Pat more than enough love and support. Little 
Pat attended Sunday School, ball games and most school functions. Her picture was in the yearbook each year. On the year that 
would have been her graduation year, the Class of 1967 presented the Cockrell's with an annual dedicated to Pat. 

Governor James B. Hunt invited Onnie Cockrell to be an honored guest at the Inauguration on January 11, 1993. The theme 
of the Inauguration Day was "Education Is Our Future." Onnie was the Governor's Sunday School teacher, History teacher and 
coach at Rock Ridge High School. The two have remained friends for many years. Governor Hunt remembers Onnie's birthday 
each year and still calls him "Coach." A highway patrol car was sent to 208 Seven Hills Road to take Onnie to Raleigh. He was 
accompanied by his nephew, James O. Cockrell. Before the afternoon parade, Onnie and the Governor walked together to the 
Reviewing Stand, and they were seated together for the afternoon. Onnie felt honored and grateful to have been a part of this very 
special day. Ann loved her teaching and taught 27 years. Onnie enjoyed his coaching and teaching, but moved into administration 
for a total of 40 years in education. 

The caregivers employed through the years were the best in caring for Pat. 1971 was their hardest year. Five surgeries at North 
Carolina Memorial Hospital were almost too much. God gave them the strength to keep trying to find an answer to Pat's pain. In 
May of 1973 they moved to Wilson and became members of First Baptist Church. They felt apprehensive about moving because 
of the understanding and closeness they had at Rock Ridge, but the friendly neighbors and First Baptist Church provided the 
fellowship needed and the Cockrells keep on keeping on. 

The Cockrells moved next door to me the next month after my husband died, and I've always told Ann that God put them next 
door just for me. They are wonderful neighbors, Onnie enjoys playing in the band with the Musical Elders. Pat enjoys the 'Search 
for Action' club for the handicapped which is sponsored by our church, and Ann is happy with her teaching relationship with Ray 
Wells who is also handicapped. The Wilson Daily Times recently published a picture and feature article on Mr. Wells and how far 
he has come with Ann as his tutor. (Onnie 2/1 9/06) 

Louis and Mary Corprew 
"The Senior Scene" December 1994 

He was born on a farm in the hot summertime in 1913 in the oldest brick house in North Carolina, the 
historic Newbold-White Home in Hertford, Perquimans County, North Carolina. She was born in March 
nearly three years later in Lewiston, Bertie County. Her family moved to Windsor when she was about 
three years old. 

After he finished high school, he joined the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) in Windsor. While there, 
he met her on a blind date and they went together four or five years before being married on December 
15, 1938. They have three children: a daughter, Mary, who lives in St. Mary's, Georgia; another daughter, 
Katherine Anne, a nurse who lives in Stantonsburg; and a son, Louis, Jr., who lives in Sequin, Texas. 
Their nine living grandchildren (three boys and six girls) are scattered across the United States-from 
Stantonsburg and Goldsboro in North Carolina to Washington State, including Nevada, Maryland, 
Georgia and Florida. They also have three great-grandchildren, one in Texas and two in Washington. 

During World War II, he worked for the Naval Ammunition Depot in Portsmouth, Virginia. He "never had 
a job he didn't like," among which were farming, insurance, a dry cleaning business and the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. Before he 
retired from the Shipyard, he was interviewed and answered, 'When I retire, all I want is a suitcase and a Lincoln Continental." He 
acquired both, and they have traveled in 32 of the lower 48 states and Mexico. He is a former member of the Ruritan Club. Mary 
worked for 15 years in the newborn nursery in Portsmouth General Hospital before retiring in 1978. They have lived in Edenton, 
Camden County, Bertie County near Ahoskie, Windsor, Lexington, Greenville, in Virginia at Great Bridge, Norfolk and Portsmouth 
and Pasquotank County near Elizabeth City before retiring to Stantonsburg in 1984 at their daughter's insistence. After working 
over 50 years- says he is just enjoying retirement and that if he "had known retirement would be so good, he never would have 
gone to work to start with." She became interested in cross stitch and also did some quilting; they both enjoy television and 
reading. 

Before joining First Baptist in 1988, he served as Sunday School teacher and deacon at a 'half a dozen" churches through the 
years, while she usually helped in the nursery. At Wilson First Baptist, he served two years as Director of the Adult V Department 
and willingly continues to teach when called upon. Mary and Louis Corprew are usually seen near the front on the left-hand aisle 

22 





of the Sanctuary, during both the early and the main worship services. They enjoy Sunday School and Senior Adult Luncheons. 
Louis likes inspirational poems and quotations and draws from an apparently large collection. His love of life will lift your spirits, 
and his sense of humor will keep you chuckling. 

Mary and Louis, we're happy you make First Baptist of Wilson your church home. Your gentleness, your graciousness and your 
faithfulness are truly inspiring. (Louis 5/9/99 and Mary 6/14/98) 

Lou and Elaine Craig 
"The Senior Scene" December 1999 

They were young when they started dating at Windsor High School in Bertie County. He didn't even 
have his driver's license! They dated for several years before their marriage on December 22, 1 961 . 
He was born in Windsor on July 2, 1 941 and she barely missed being an April Fool's baby on March 
31,1943. 

Elaine Johnson grew up in Askewville near Windsor, where her father was Mayor, and remembers 
how important the Baptist Church across the street was to her family and neighbors. Her parents 
were very active in the Church, so the family was there every time the doors opened." As a young 
teenager, she helped her aunt work with Sunbeams. They also lived next door to the school and 
when she was a pre-schooler, Elaine "ran away from home to go to school." 

Lou Lyon Craig, Jr. grew up like a lot of boys in those days— he earned his spending money with a newspaper route; he was an 
enthusiastic Boy Scout; and he played first string basketball and baseball in high school. The primitive King Bazemore house, 
which was home to Lou's grandparents and his mother, was moved to historic Hope Plantation near Windsor and was seen 
on tour by some of the Senior Adults several years ago. Lou attended North Carolina State in Raleigh for two years before 
transferring and later graduating in 1964 from Atlantic Christian College in Wilson with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business 
Administration and Accounting. Elaine transferred to Atlantic Christian from Meredith College after one year so they could marry 
and finish their college careers. For her, it was marriage, a baby and graduation from college, all in three and a half years! She 
earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Studies and Religion in 1965. 

Their son, Gerald, who was born in 1963, graduated from Campbell University in Trust Management and is now a financial 
planner serving as a consultant to a number of Certified Public Accountants. He is married to the former Sherry Cole, and they are 
the parents of Brad (15) and Sarah (12), making Lou and Elaine YOUNG grandparents! Gerald and his family live in Cornelius, 
North Carolina, near Charlotte. 

The Craigs' daughter, Marsha, was born in 1968 and graduated from Meredith College before earning her Master's degree in 
Statistics and Economics at Clemson University in South Carolina. She works with US Web, which offers internet services and 
designs web sites for businesses. Marsha is married to Kevin Hollar and they reside in Sterling, Virginia, near Washington, D. C. 

Elaine and Lou are YOUNG retirees! After a year in Richmond, Virginia, where Lou was with a CPAfirm, and a year in Scotland 
Neck, North Carolina, where he was an internal accountant}hey moved to Wilson and have lived in the same house since 1967. 
Over a thirty year period, Lou served as General Accounting Manager, Data Processing Manager, Controller and Personnel 
Manager with Hackney Brothers Body Company. He also served as their volunteer recreational director, managing the baseball 
and bowling teams. Elaine taught Social Studies at Roxobel-Kelford Junior High School in Bertie County, Northern Nash and 
Coopers High Schools in Nash County, and Fike High School in Wilson before retiring in 1995 with thirty years' tenure. 

Although both Elaine and Lou were raised in Baptist churches, they were members of an independent church until they joined 
First Baptist in 1 980. One of the reasons they were attracted to our church was that their son Gerald was a member of Troop 8 
under Scoutmaster Lewis Lee. 

They were very favorably impressed, joined and have been very involved in our church activities since that time. Elaine has 
been Secretary/Treasurer of Baptist Women (WMU) and was editor of FBC's "Sharing Our Blessings" cookbook. Currently, she 
is a long-time member of the Sanctuary Choir, a long-time Secretary of the Youth Sunday School Department, a volunteer in 
the church office, and she keeps the computer records of our Sunday School enrollment. Both Elaine and Lou have served as 
greeters and Sunday School teachers. Lou has been an usher and a deacon. He is a member of the Men's Brotherhood and of 
the Sound Committee. Each of them is on a monthly cooking team for Wednesday night suppers, and Lou cooks the monthly 
Brotherhood breakfasts. He is a former Scoutmaster of Troop 8, sponsored by First Baptist. As a retiree, he was able to spend a 
lot of time encouraging the boys individually to do the work necessary to progress in their ranks. 

To help feed the Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief Team home-cooked meals instead of leftovers from meals they served the flood 
victims, Linda Wheeler called upon volunteers for help. Elaine and Lou made themselves available daily to do whatever needed 

23 



doing, and Linda stated in church that Lou was her shadow for five weeks. One day Lou contacted a friend who is a charter 
boat captain and asked for enough fresh tuna to feed 125 people. That captain contacted others and one Monday, every tuna 
boat crew out of Oregon Net and Pirate's Cove (between Manteo and Nags Head) cleaned and donated their entire catch. Lou 
drove his truck there with two empty coolers and had to acquire six more to accommodate a total of 550 pounds of tuna (some of 
which was later enjoyed by FBC members on a Wednesday night). Lou recently completed thirty-two thank-you notes to people 
who contributed something to help feed the Disaster Relief Team based in our church. He says these five weeks were the most 
humbling experience of his life. 

Lou is a founding member of the Greater Wilson Rotary Club, has been active in it for fifteen years and was elected Rotarian of 
the Year several years ago. His hobbies are hunting, fishing and playing bridge. He enjoys hunting with a close friend he's known 
"since they were in diapers." The Craigs have a cottage at Kill Devil Hills and go there as often as they can. Many weekends they 
drive back to Wilson late Saturday night in order to be at church on Sunday morning. 

Elaine is a member of the Wilson County Retired School Personnel and the Wilson Woman's Club. She says that her hobbies 
are "reading, traveling and Lou." She has been to Europe (England, Italy, France and Greece) seven times, planning for and 
chaperoning high school students on three of those trips. She also chaperoned students on several trips to Washington, D. C. 
In the fall of 1997, the entire Craig family, including grandchildren, traveled to Italy for fifteen days, a very memorable trip. Elaine 
says that she has had several very moving-almost spiritual-experiences in her travels, such as: in 1993, flying over the Alps at 
sunrise on Easter Sunday; in 1996, seeing Leonardo Da Vinci's "The Last Supper"; in 1997, visiting Coventry, England, where 
the Cathedral was destroyed by German bombers in World War II; and in 1999, visiting Lourdes and the Grotto of St. Bernadette. 
She is now planning a trip to the Holy Land next year for members of First Baptist Church. 

As busy, involved retirees, Elaine and Lou Craig are probably asking what most of us already have: "When did we ever find time to 
work?" They are caring, compassionate, faithful and willing workers for God and His people. They are very knowledgeable about 
the Holy Scriptures, as well as world history, geography and current events. They are friendly, cheerful and very devoted to each 
other. First Baptist Church is very fortunate that they -are "doers of the Word and not hearers only." 

Excerpt from February 1994 SENIOR SCENE - "Bertie Folk in Wilson" 

Lou Craig, formerly of Windsor, and Elaine Johnson Craig of Askewville, are two other Bertie people I see often. Elaine teaches 
History at Fike High School and Lou is employed by Hackney Body Shop as an accountant. He is a deacon at First Baptist and 
Elaine sings in the choir. Elaine's father, Finley Johnson, mayor of Askewville, visits them often and we have had a Bertie chat in 
Sunday School assembly. 

It is interesting that Lou's father was a Bertie County principal when I was in high school. Many will remember Lou's mother, Hilma 
Ward Craig, who was a retired teacher and active in First Baptist after moving to Wilson. 

Royce and Mary Frances Crawley 
"The Senior Scene" June 1998 

Mary Frances Weathington - born and reared in Cumberland County near Roseboro. She graduated 
from Stedman High School and took a business course at Flora MacDonald College in Red Springs. 
Subsequently, she was employed by the Fort Bragg Recruiting Office for three years before working 
at R. L. Pittman Hospital in Fayetteville. 

Royce Crawley was born in Wilson and "grew up" at the First Baptist Church where he began singing 
at age six. He and his two sisters, twins, Margie and Celia (now deceased) sang together and were 
known as the "Crawley Trio." Royce took violin lessons for seven years, first under Mrs. Louise Austin 
(former FBC member) and later under Mr. Ed Stallings. Royce sang in the Sanctuary Choir for many 
years and now shares his talent in the Senior Adult Choir. 

-J Royce was a member of the first Charles L. Coon High School Band which was formed by Roscoe 
Eller around 1936. Mr. Eller taught Royce to play trumpet and Royce stayed in the band six years 
until he graduated. His father, Roger J. Crawley, was a deacon at First Baptist for many years and his mother, Ida, taught Sunday 
School with Mrs. Mattie Moss, grandmother of Toby Moss. Mrs. Crawley was actually his step-mother, because his mother, 
Margaret, died when he was only nine months old and his father remarried when Royce was 22 months old. Both mothers and 
his father were very musically talented, so Royce came by his talent both genetically and environmentally. 

The family piano was given by Royce's father to his mother and is now in the possession of the Crawley's son, Bill. The company 
that made the piano, Charles M. Steiff of Baltimore, made such a perfect instrument that their customers never needed a new 
one, and the company went out of business. After many years Don Hinshaw, then Minister of Music at First Baptist, recommended 

24 




a 67-year old German, the youngest registered piano tuner in the world, to replace worn parts, including the felts and ivories. 
Conveniently, at the time this man was living in Goldsboro with his daughter, who was married to a Seymour Johnson serviceman. 

Before he finished high school, Royce was accepted at Wake Forest College in Wake Forest, North Carolina; however, because 
of the possibility that that he would be drafted soon, the Draft Board advised him to begin college at Atlantic Christian in Wilson. 
He was able to attend only one quarter before he was called into the U. S. Army and served in Administration at Fort Bragg and 
Camp Butner in Durham from March 1943 until February 1946. Royce entered Wake Forest College in the summer of 1946, 
studying to become a Certified Public Accountant and finding time to sing lead tenor in the Wake Forest College Choir and play 
trumpet in the Wake Forest Band. After two years he transferred to Strayer College of Accounting in Washington, D. C. for two 
years. Upon finishing college, he worked for nine months as Assistant Administrator at R. L. Pittman Hospital in Fayetteville before 
returning to Wilson as Office Manager for Rulane Gas Company, where he worked three years. While Royce was stationed at Fort 
Bragg, he and three friends were invited to a Fayetteville First Baptist Church Youth Group hayride. After they arrived at the lake, 
Royce was rocking on the porch watching the swimmers when he inquired of Mary Frances' date why he was not swimming. The 
young man said he would not swim in unfamiliar waters, so Royce went in and swam toward her. She ducked him and when he 
came up, she said, "I hope you can swim." That was the beginning and they went together for six years before being married on 
October 1 5, 1 950, at the First Baptist Church in Fayetteville. 

Afterward, they lived in Wilson, Mary Frances became Business Manager at the Woodard-Herring Hospital. She retained the 
same position at the new Wilson Memorial Hospital until her retirement in February 1985. 

Royce was employed by Export Leaf Tobacco Company as an administrative clerk and later advanced to become Supervisor of 
Budget and Cost, as well as Payroll Operations until he retired in 1986. When Grace Baptist Church became a mission under the 
sponsorship of First Baptist, Royce and Mary Frances transferred their membership for several years to Grace Church as charter 
members. Among other things necessary to help get a new church going, Royce became Choir Director and Mary Frances helped 
with office work. Past or long-time FBC Sunday School teachers will remember the Crawley children, Margaret Ann and Bill. 
Margaret Ann is married to Oscar J. Gonzalez, a Doctor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and they live in Houston, Texas with their 
son and two daughters, ages 19, 16 and 13. Bill married Julie Schrock of Wilson and they have a son, 13, and a daughter, 11, Bill 
and his family live near Hillsborough, and they own and operate an office furniture business. Naturally, the Crawleys are proud of 
their grandchildren and enjoy family visits whenever possible. 

Mary Frances enjoys sewing and gardening, and she has a "special fondness" for cooking, which she does regularly at the Wilson 
Woman's Club and at First Baptist Church from time to time. She bakes and decorates wedding cakes with the greatest of ease, 
and she prepared the three beautiful, delicious cakes for the Church's recent 138th anniversary celebration. For a year before 
the church hostess, Linda Wheeler, was employed and while our new kitchen was under construction, Mary Frances cooked and 
served all the First Baptist Senior Adult monthly luncheons at the Woman's Club. 

Royce enjoys taking care of "everything outside," including their small front yard, a beautifully landscaped back yard with lovely 
brick patio, vegetable garden, several flower gardens, swimming pool and large paved area with garage. He also claims the title 
of "helper" to Mary Frances in her cooking and serving. One reason he stopped singing in the Sanctuary Choir was because 
he and Mary Frances obligated themselves for many weekend wedding receptions. They no longer work on Sundays and plan 
to participate actively again in Sunday School and Church. Royce, who is a very committed person, says if he participates in 
anything, he participates 100%. 

They both enjoy swimming in their pool and often volunteer to collect funds in their neighborhood for various charity organizations. 
Once a month they help prepare the Wednesday night suppers and serve the hot dogs. The Crawleys are a quiet, unassuming, 
private couple who stay very busy. They always respond willingly when asked to help with meals. A friend says they have hearts 
of gold and will do anything for anyone at any time without expecting anything in return. They are a special blessing to First Baptist 
Church, and we are especially grateful for the time and talents they share with us. 

Margaret Daughtridge 
"The Senior Scene" June 1996 

She was born in Rocky Mount (Edgecombe County) and lived there until she was two years old. Her 
father was a merchant but wanted to be a farmer, so he bought a farm in Nash County where she grew 
up. She has one older brother, who now lives in Alexandria, Virginia. 

Her first date was with the man she married nine years later, even though "he was always late for 
every date." She met him at a party through a friend, who was going with his brother. He was one of 
nine children in a family from Edgecombe County. He graduated from N.C. State. She attended East 
Carolina Teachers College at a time when the "young ladies wore hats and gloves to town." She still 
keeps in touch with her roommate, Mittie Crumpler of Mebane. 

25 




Our special young lady worked for a brief time in Dixon Tillery Hat Shop in Rocky Mount. She and her fiance were married in 1 933 
and made their home in Wilson, where he was an insurance representative. 

Soon afterward, Margaret Elizabeth Calhoun Daughtridge moved her letter of membership from Rocky Mount to First Baptist 
Church of Wilson at Nash and Pine Streets. Her husband, Harvey, was soon baptized there. Together with the late Hugh Newton, 
also a former member of FBC, Harvey in later years owned and operated Refrigeration and Appliances, Inc. Harvey died in 
January 1971. Margaret and Harvey had two daughters, Suzanne Daughtridge Holdford and Libba Daughtridge Brown, both of 
whom were baptized in the old church. Each of them married young men who were also raised in First Baptist. Suzanne, the 
widow of James E. "Jimmy" Holdford (son of Easter Holdford Lamm), has two daughters, Beth and Anne Harvey, who grew up 
in the present facility of FBC. Three of Margaret's four grandchildren married a "Smith," none of whom are related. Beth married 
George Thomas Smith, Jr., and they live in Raleigh with their two sons, George and William. Anne Harvey married William Adams 
Smith, III, known as "Bill." They also live in Raleigh and are expecting their first child in August. 

Margaret's daughter, Libba, married Walter E. Brown, and they have two children. "Walt, Jr." married Kathy Smith and they make 
their home in Tarboro. Libba's daughter, "Meg" married Bryan Adams. They live in Charlotte and are expecting their first child 
in July. The Daughtridge family had a vacation home on Pamlico Sound, which they enjoyed during weekends and summer 
vacations. When the girls were teenagers, their father bought a boat. Although it was not always in their immediate possession, 
Libba now owns it once again, and the grandchildren-to-be will one day be "riding in the wake" of their mother and aunt. 

Margaret has long been active in our church and community. She still enjoys the Wednesday afternoon Sewing Group and her 
WMU Group III led by Elaine Craig. For many years, Margaret taught Sunday School in the five-year-old department with Marjorie 
Efird. She was a long-time member of the Garden Department of the Wilson Woman's Club, as well as a volunteer Gray Lady 
at Wilson Memorial Hospital for many years. Margaret's favorite pastimes are needlework, flower gardening and feeding and 
watching birds. During World War II she and her husband made their whole back yard into a vegetable garden. She canned and 
preserved, and he very proudly showed off the results of their joint efforts on the shelves of their pantry. 

Margaret has lived in their home on Rountree Street for over 54 years, but as of May 21 , her new address is 210 Spring Arbor, 850 
N W Ward Boulevard. Her telephone number remains 243-2736. She has always enjoyed "company" and will happily welcome all 
visitors to her new home. Margaret Daughtridge is a true believer and is faithful to First Baptist Church of Wilson. 

Her friendly smile is an open invitation to everyone to stop and chat a while. Margaret has been described as a lovely neighbor. 
She is the typical "old fashioned Southern lady." She is gentle and gracious and helpful to those around her, and the Earth Angels 
of FBC wish her well in her new surroundings. (10/21/01) 

John and Caroline Draughn 
"The Senior Scene" May 1993 

His grandfather owned a large parcel of farmland between Wilson Memorial Hospital, the Moose Club 
and Bill's Barbecue. The old family cemetery is still there, near the Moose Club. His family moved "to 
town" when he was four years old. 

The lady and the gentleman both attended Charles L. Coon High School. He's only two months older 
than she. He was a member of First Baptist, and she was a member of First Presbyterian. These two 
churches were then only one long block apart. He visited the Young People's group at her church, and 
they soon started dating. Before they were married, she worked at the telephone company, where her 
father was manager. She traveled around collecting money from area phone booths. Her mother was 
Principal at Woodard Elementary School. 

John opened West End Grocery in 1932. They dated nearly four years, became engaged on 
Thanksgiving, and were married a month later on Christmas morning. When choosing their wedding 
date, she laughingly teased by saying that was the only day his store would ever be closed. After a week's honeymoon in 
Florida, he told her she would not have to work anymore outside their home. They live in the home they built in 1948. They have 
a daughter, Jean, and two grandchildren (a boy and a girl). They just returned from their grandson's graduation at Appalachian 
State. John worked for 30 years and retired at the ripe old age of 51 ! He doesn't mind admitting that he turned 82 this month, but 
we won't divulge the lady's age. They have enjoyed traveling in 40 states and have been on two cruises. They usually can be 
counted among the FBC Senior travelers. 

He has been a member of First Baptist Church 62 years! He has served as Deacon, as well as Trustee. He also served as 
Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 8, sponsored by this church. He was President of the Lion's Club during its 50th anniversary, 
when they had a big celebration at (then) Atlantic Christian College. He was voted Lion of the Year in 1968. He recently received 
his 50-year member pin from the TPA (Traveler's Protective Association). He worked at the election polls for ten years. Caroline 

26 





has been a Gray Lady volunteer at our local hospital for 20 years. She enjoys the Ladies' Sewing Circle and the Ladies' Exercise 
Group. Today, we salute Caroline and John Draughn and wish them continued good health. (John 10/1/99 and Caroline 2/5/04) 

Herman and Kathryn Easom 
"The Senior Scene" March 1993 

He grew up in Selma in Smithfield, North Carolina - she grew up in Hayesville in western North Carolina. 
He went to UNC-Chapel Hill for four years to study medicine, transferred to Washington University in St. 
Louis for his MD, and then interned in Lancaster, PA. 

She studied business at Weaver College, which later became part of Brevard College near Asheville. 
When her father's bank closed because of the depression she worked part-time in the Office of the 
College President and earned a scholarship in order to finish school. She later worked for a lawyer who 
helped her find a job in Raleigh after he was elected to the legislature. The doctor moved to Raleigh to 
work in Industrial Hygiene. When he needed a secretary, he hired the young lady from the mountains. 
On weekends, they would go bowling with his associates (all men except for the secretary). If she stayed 
too late, she missed her supper with her roommates; and the doctor would take her out to supper. After 
about four years in Raleigh, he transferred to the staff at the McCain Sanatorium. A year or so later, the doctor and the secretary 
decided to marry as soon as they could get a house at McCain. At Thanksgiving they set the date for December 21st. (A.I. Hayes 
still teases them by saying that date is the shortest day and the longest night of the year!) After the wedding they left the church 
for a week in Florida. Since they had no reservations, they ended up in an awful room, but they laugh about it now. Dr. Herman 
Easom had only one day's notice to transfer from McCain to the North Carolina Sanatorium in Wilson as Superintendent and 
Medical Director. The U.S. Army had considered taking over the building and his boss sent him "before the Army changed its 
mind." His wife, Kathryn, who was not planning to work at all, was asked by her husband's boss to work one month; she ended 
up working in Medical records 30 years instead of 30 days! 

The building was not finished, and they had a terrible time completing it because of shortage of materials and help due to World 
War II. There was NO heat, NO hot water and NO equipment! However, they were putting together a good staff, including C. C. 
Moss, Florence Pittman, Vance Macy and Ike McAnulty. Lipscomb Road from the Sanatorium to Herring Avenue was not paved 
and when it rained, they could not get to town, so they would all end up sleeping in the unfinished building. There was no way to 
cook, except with a hot plate that repeatedly blew fuses. 

Once Kathryn went out of town alone on the train. Herman called her and told her he had rented a house with a cathedral ceiling. 
It was raining when she returned, and he did not meet the train. She called and he told her to take a taxi to the end of Reid Street, 
where he met her with an umbrella. When he took her to the newly rented house, there was no cathedral ceiling. She didn't 
understand until he told her he had rented a different house in the meantime. 

It was a tough year or so before the building was ready for the 200 patients who were transferred to Wilson. Then the Easom's 
life work really began. In December, 1 992, they celebrated 52 years of happiness together! Congratulations, Kathryn and Herman 
Easom! 

First Baptist has always been your first priority; the staff and membership have greatly benefited from your many years of loyal and 
dedicated service. You have been excellent role models as Deacons, teachers and serving on endless committees in all phases 
of Church, Sunday School, Brotherhood and WMU. We thank you and salute you. (Katherine 2/5/97 and Herman 12/16/05) 



Frances Elrod 
"The Senior Scene" June 1999 




Selma Frances Elrod was born in Tarboro, North Carolina to Mid and Selma Elrod. She has one younger 
sister, Helen, who lives in Raleigh and is married to James W. (Bill) Carlyle. They have two daughters, 
two sons, two grandsons and three granddaughters. Mr. and Mrs. Elrod continued to live in Tarboro until 
they moved to Wilson in 1951, where they attended First Baptist Church. Mr. Elrod was a brick mason 
and contractor and helped build our sanctuary. 

Frances graduated from Tarboro High School in 1 943 and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in History 
from Meredith College in 1947. She did her student teaching at Needham-Broughton High School and 
got her teaching certificate. She attended Drexel Institute of Technology (now Drexel University) in 
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and earned her Bachelor of Science degree (same as Master's now) in 
Library Science there in 1948. Frances began her career as Assistant Director in charge of Children's 
Work at the Public Library in Portsmouth, Virginia. She next moved to Greensboro to be near her 

27 



sister, a student at Bowman-Gray School of Nursing in Winston-Salem. She was in charge of the Children's Department at the 
Greensboro Public Library for five years. She then accepted a position with the Mount Vernon Public Library in Mount Vernon, 
New York, where she was in charge of the Children's Department with ten people on her staff Her teacher's training was very 
helpful with class visits to the Library, which had over 73,000 volumes of children's books. She enjoyed conducting the Story Hour 
for pre-schoolers, and she always tried to be on the floor after school to help older children. One year the Mount Vernon High 
School students dedicated their Yearbook to her. Her library was the Central Library for Westchester Library System, and Frances 
kept her position for thirty years, retiring in 1 986. Upon her retirement a banquet was given in her honor and the Mayor proclaimed 
November 16, 1986 "Frances Elrod Day." 

She was always very active in Library organizations and attended many publishing events. She was a member of ZONTA, an 
international philanthropic organization which only allowed membership to one person from each profession. When she attended 
the national conventions of librarians held in major cities throughout the United States, Frances would extend her travels by taking 
her vacations beginning when the conventions ended. She vacationed in Hawaii after the convention in San Francisco, in Mexico 
after the convention in Dallas and in New England and Canada after conventions in New York, thereby traveling far and wide each 
year. Many times she could schedule a week's visit with her parents in Wilson on the way back to New York. One summer her 
parents drove to California to meet her in Long Beach, enabling the three of them to sight see on the cross-country drive home. 
After retiring, she went on a two week tour of Europe. 

While working she was elected President of Westchester School and Children's Librarians. Nationally, in 1970, she was elected 
to the prestigious Caldecott-Newbery Committee, whose responsibility it was to read all the new children's books that year and 
select the ones to receive the Caldecott-Newbery Awards for the best author and illustrator. 

Frances was active in the First Baptist Church of Bronxville, New York and on the building committee when the new church was 
built. She became the first woman Trustee in the 125-year history of the church. She was on the Board of Christian Education, 
taught third grade in Sunday School and was elected Woman of the Year in 1985. After retiring she moved to Wilson to live with 
her father, as her mother was in a Tarboro Nursing Home and died three years later. Retiring from her career certainly did not 
mean retiring from church work. Here, Frances is Girls' Auxiliary Director, teaching Second and Third Grade Sunday School, 
is active in WMU, is on the Senior Adult Council, sets the tables for the Senior Adult luncheons and served as President of 
the Council earlier. She is in the Senior Adult Choir, serves on a cooking team and is a tutor in the After School Program. She 
continues to influence the lives of many children. 

Frances was a member of the Woman's Club of Bronxville and now enjoys membership in the Wilson Woman's Club. She has 
been a volunteer for the American Red Cross. Anyone who knows Frances Elrod knows of her mouse collection. Long ago, 
a friend and co-worker brought her a souvenir mouse because she knew Frances especially enjoyed the children's mouse 
storybooks. Frances now has a collection of "thousands," over a hundred of which are Christmas ornaments. 

Frances walks for exercise and travels whenever possible. First Baptist Seniors have provided many trips, as well as the Wilson 
Woman's Club sponsored one of her two cruises. She enjoys reading and watching TV sports, especially baseball, a pastime 
she shared with her father. They also shared the yard work, as well as the vegetable garden chores until last year. In the kitchen, 
Frances did the cooking and Mr. Elrod washed the dishes. Needless to say, they enjoyed a very close relationship. 

Frances is a very capable and conscientious person, a very willing worker and most faithful to First Baptist Church of Wilson. We 
are very grateful for all she does and thankful she is one of us. 



Sam and Virginia Evett 
"The Senior Scene" November 2002 



They both attended Washington High School in Washington, North Carolina and may have passed in the halls but did not 
know it. He was two years older than she and lived in town; she grew up on a tobacco farm. (C. A. and Juanita Mason 
Nelson were also students there at the same time.) After graduation in 1951, he enrolled in 
Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina and considered studying for the ministry; instead 
after one year he joined the United States Air Force and served four years, one of them in Korea. 

Upon graduation in 1953, she entered East Carolina University and in her junior year her roommate 
arranged a blind date with an Airman First Class who was home on leave from the USAF. The roommate's 
fiance and the Airman traveled from Washington to Greenville to take the young ladies out on a double date. 
The sixth of seven children (four boys and three girls), Samuel Richardson Evett was born in Washington 
on June 11, 1932 to Leon Thomas and Emma Padgett Evett. Virginia Elizabeth Everson was born in 
Beaufort County on a peaceful September 11, 1934 to James L. and Marshel W. Everson. She was the 
eldest of two brothers and a sister. The blind date was the beginning of a romance with Virginia and Sam 
corresponding about a year until Sam was discharged from the Air Force. They dated another year or so 

28 




and a memorable event occurred, Sam was late bringing Virginia home one night and she wanted to get in the house without waking 
her father. Sam backed the car out of the driveway without turning on the lights and ran into a ditch. She had to get her father out of 
bed to hook the tractor to Sam's car and pull it out. Sam was really scared but her father was good-natured about the whole incident. 

Virginia graduated from ECU in March 1 957 and taught school in Belhaven for three months while a regular teacher was on maternity 
leave. Sam and Virginia were married on June 2 that year and made their first home in a Newport News, Virginia apartment. Sam 
was employed there with Noland Company as a wholesale salesman for plumbing and heating supplies. They were transferred 
to Winston-Salem and Sam took night classes at Wake Forest University. Their son was born at Baptist Hospital. They moved to 
Greenville when Sam accepted a job with another company and their daughter was born in nearby hometown Washington. Sam's 
promotion took them to Ahoskie, and they moved to Wilson in 1 966 when Sam transferred with the company that later became Ihrie 
Supply Company. They rented a house for a year until they bought their present home where they have lived for thirty-five years. 
Having only one bathroom made mornings hectic with one person getting ready for work and the other three going to various schools. 

Virginia returned to teaching when Susan was in first grade and was assigned as one of the first two Caucasian teachers at 
Elvie Street School. After one year, she became a middle school teacher of Language Arts and Social Studies at Vinson-Bynum. 
She taught seventh grade with Sherron Boyd before she married Dan Moore. And, Mike Maclaga came to her classroom once 
a week to teach Vocations and Occupations, which gave Virginia a welcomed hour's break during the school day. The Everts 
have two children, Samuel R. Evert, Jr. and Susan Evett Boswell. Sam, Jr. is married to the former Virginia "Ginny" Outlaw 
and they make their home in Apex, where he is a computer programmer after receiving his education at N. C. State and East 
Carolina. They lived in Wilson three years and there was great confusion on the part of the post office, the bank and business 
firms with Sam, Sr., Sam, Jr., Virginia E. Evett and Virginia O. Evett. Ginny was a microbiologist at Burroughs- Wellcome in 
Greenville and now is a pre-school teacher. They have three children, including two daughters, Melissa (15, a high school 
sophomore) Christina (13, in eighth grade) and one son, Tommy (5, in pre-school). Sam, Jr. was in Cub Scout Pack 8 and Boy 
Scout Troop 8 at First Baptist Church with many of our Scouts, including Lewis Carlton, John Goforth, Thome Lee, Joey Mercer, 
Louis Meyer, Jr., Joseph Newton and Don Pittman. Sam, Sr. accompanied them on many trips, and the Everts got to know the 
other boys' parents at Scouting events. They are now in Sunday School Bible Study classes with a lot of those parents. Sam, Jr. 
is a flying instructor in his spare time and has flown commercial planes. He was co-pilot of the Standard Commercial Tobacco 
Company plane when Eleanor Tabb was employed there. He has also run the twenty-five mile New York Marathon three times. 

The Everts' daughter, Susan is married to Michael Boswell, who grew up in First Baptist Church. He is the son of Connie and 
George Boswell and the grandson of the late Lucille and Anderson Boswell. Susan and Mike have two daughters, Alyson (14, 
a freshman at Hunt High School) and Sarah (12, in the sixth grade at Forest Hills Middle School). Susan earned her degree 
in Speech Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is presently a homemaker. She volunteers 
at their daughters' schools and is active in their Parent Teachers' Associations. The whole family is very active in First Baptist 
activities. Susan loved horses as a child and took riding lessons in the fifth grade. The Evetts bought her a horse two years 
later with the understanding it would be sold when Sam, Jr. went to college because his education was more important than 
the horse. Susan had no problem with that and visited her horse in its new home in nice surroundings in Pinehurst. Now 
she again owns a horse and boards it locally. Their families have always been very important to the Evetts. They make it 
a priority to celebrate birthdays on the very day, and each grandchild gets a cake Virginia has baked and decorated. 

The Evetts have been through several family illnesses together. Virginia's brother was very ill from 198661991. The first 
time she flew to Atlanta to visit him in the hospital, he drew directions to get to his condominium where she would stay. He 
told her that traffic would be lighter after midnight and she was to drive his Honda home. She had never driven a straight- 
shift car and was very nervous, as well as scared. She took a wrong turn and decided to stop for directions when she saw 
two churches near a nice-looking brick home with the lights still on and Christmas candles in the windows. It was the home 
of a Baptist minister and his family who befriended her, had prayer with her on their front lawn and led her to the condo. 
Virginia said that it was "divine providence" and all of her fears were taken away. The minister visited her brother later and 
had prayer with him also. After her mother became ill, Virginia went to Washington nearly every weekend for two years to 
help look after her. When her mother, who had Alzheimer's Disease, could no longer stay in her own home, they moved 
her to a nursing home in Wilson. Caring for her during her last seven years was very difficult for the family, but Sam was 
very helpful and attentive to his mother-in-law, frequently taking her out to ride after he got off work in the afternoon. 

Before he retired in 1995, Sam and Virginia were able to take many nice all-expense paid trips through Sam's business. 
They went to Brazil, Ireland and to the Bahamas twice. When Susan was in the tenth grade, Sam let her go in his place 
to England, a very memorable trip for Susan and Virginia. Just after arriving, Virginia's purse containing passports, 
traveler's checks, etc. was stolen. They spent a frustrating day but with a phone call back to the States to Sam and help 
from a fellow traveler from Wilson, the passports and traveler's checks were replaced without any identification on hand. 
That evening her purse was found and returned (minus traveler's checks and money) to her hotel. After Virginia retired 
she enjoyed going to France in 1994 as an unofficial chaperone with a friend and some college students from ECU. 

Virginia retired after a teaching career of thirty years. She appreciates having the time and freedom to do "fun activities." She 
especially enjoys staying home, cooking, decorating cakes, flower gardening, studying for her Disciple Bible Study classes and 

29 



reading all she can, including best sellers. In her spare time she volunteers with the Church Newsletters, Red Cross, Hope Station 
and Wilson Medical Center transporting patients to and from the operating room. Recently she was able to calm one very nervous 
and frightened patient with quiet conversation and prayer. The lady later told friends how Virginia had helped her. Virginia takes 
Computer Programming (two hours a week) and Beginning Art (three hours a week) at Wilson Technical Community College. 

Sam enjoys playing golf, being with their five grandchildren and visiting with people in nursing homes or friends and neighbors 
who are sick or disabled. He also enjoys church activities, "all kinds of food" and running household errands. Virginia says that 
Sam is the best errand-runner there is and no item is too insignificant for him to fetch. 

Virginia grew up in a fundamentalist Church of Christ which reluctantly consented for her mother to keep the nursery because 
there was no man available. Sam was raised in the Presbyterian Church, but after they moved to Wilson they joined First 
Christian Church. While there Sam chauffeured Reverend Jim Wallace to Mount Olive nearly every Sunday for a year when 
Mr. Wallace was an interim preacher there. Sam said that he learned a lot about the Bible from Mr. Wallace. Four years ago, 
Sam and Virginia followed their daughter and son-in-law to First Baptist Church and became very active in all facets of the 
church. Sam is Co-president of the Paraclete Class, is on the Spanish Liaison Committee, a member of Baptist Men, serves 
on the Children's Church Committee, and has been on the Church Outreach Team. Virginia is Baptist Women WMU Group IV 
Facilitator, a substitute teacher for the Ruth Class, and is on the Flower, Greeting, Decorating and Bereavement Committees. 

On the front of the Sunday morning First Baptist Order of Worship is printed: "Ministers: The Members of the Church." The 
Evetts are one couple who take that responsibility very seriously. Friends say that they are good "disciples" who go out of their 
way to invite visitors as new members, to offer a ride to various church functions and to follow up with regular calls or visits. 
They are careful to explain all the Church has to offer, all the while being kind and persevering and not aggressive in their 
"evangelism." They introduce newcomers to members, as well as help them get to know each other. Virginia and Sam Evett are 
excellent examples of committed, compassionate and hard-working Christians. 

Annie Royal Farmer 
"The Senior Scene" January 1995 

She may not be with us in person each Sunday on the comer of Nash and Park Avenue; but listening 
with us by radio most Sundays, she is certainly there in spirit. She was very faithful in Church attendance 
for many years, and although she recently celebrated her 95th birthday, she is an active member of 
WMU Group VI, led by Jackie Brooks. 

Annie Royal Sikes Farmer was born in Clinton, North Carolina, on Sunday, December 10, 1899, and 
lived there until she was three years old. She remembers living in Dunn when she was four. Her family 
moved to Wilson in 1904 (horse and buggy days) and attended First Baptist on Nash and Pine Streets. 
Her mother died when she was eight, and for about a year, Annie Royal lived with Mrs. Jim Bynum 
(mother of the late Woodard Elementary School Principal Ethel Bynum). They also lived in Georgia for 
a brief time. 

When she was ten, Annie Royal and her younger brother were placed in a boarding school in Salemburg, 
where her uncle was a doctor. Her father later remarried, but because his new wife only lived six months, the children again 
returned to Salemburg. It was there when she was 12 that she joined the Baptist Church and was baptized in Baggett's Mill Pond. 
Because her father traveled in his work and was widowed twice, they moved around a lot and Annie Royal felt she "had no roots." 

In 1913, her father married again, and they lived in Georgia for five years during most of World War 1. In 1918, the family moved 
back to Wilson to stay, and Annie Royal joined First Baptist Church right away. Incidentally, her sister-in-law once lived in the 
yellow brick house on Nash and Daniel Streets, which is now our Activities House. Annie Royal's first summer job was making 
hats in a shop on Tarboro Street. She attended Meredith College for a year. Her working career included a short time at Gilmer 
Department Store on Nash Street and Hackney Brothers Body Company for two years. She then accepted a job at First National 
Bank of Wilson and stayed there five years. 

In 1929, Annie Royal married Leslie James Farmer, a lifelong resident of Wilson, except for about three years' service in World 
War 1. He was a bookkeeper for Hudson-Essex and General Supply Store. Their daughter, Betsy was born the next year, and 
two years later they lost a newborn son. 

Annie Royal was quite adept at needlework before her eyesight began to fail. She enjoyed knitting whatever kinds of sweater her 
grandchildren wanted; she crocheted bedspreads and canopies; she made a "Grandmother's Garden" quilt and did needlepoint. 
Only recently, she spent time teaching someone the almost-lost art of tatting. She also enjoyed playing bridge with friends. 
Annie Royal is a long-time member of the Wilson Woman's Club. She was a Gray Lady volunteer with the American Red Cross, 
receiving her ten-year certificate. Although she did not really want a pet, Annie Royal accepted one of her neighbor's puppies, 

30 




which became her companion for 14 years. Later she also had a parakeet. 

When Betsy married John Graves of Wilson, Annie Royal encouraged her daughter to join her husband's Methodist Church. Betsy 
and John had five children: Leslie (Darien, CT), John (Los Angeles area), Loyd (Cary), Beth (Raleigh) and Jane (Washington, 
DC). Leslie and her husband are the parents of Annie Royal's great-grandchildren, Ann (2 1/2) and month-old John Thomas. 
Jane, the youngest, is engaged to be married on August 5, her Grandmother Farmer's wedding anniversary. When John Thomas 
was born recently, Annie Royal insisted on baking Leslie's favorite cookies for Betsy to take to the new mother. The name "Ann" 
has been passed down through six consecutive generations: Chellie Ann, Annie Belle, Annie Royal, Elizabeth Ann, Leslie Ann 
and Ann Graves. 

After Mr. Farmer died in 1948 of a heart attack, Annie Royal worked briefly at Branch Bank before returning to National Bank, 
where she worked 12 more years. Her father, James Archibald Sikes, came to Wilson to live with Annie Royal in 1955 after his 
third wife died. Mr. Sikes is remembered as the man who accentuated Rev. Clyde Baucom's remarks with a resounding "Amen." 
Mr. Sikes died in 1 964, and Annie Royal has lived alone since that time. 

Annie Royal does not complain and has a wonderful sense of humor. When First Baptist implemented the Senior Adult Luncheons 
and called to invite Annie Royal she told her daughter, "I just don't believe I can go down there and work in that kitchen any more." 
She has quite a reputation for being an excellent cook. She recalls dates and places with the greatest of ease. She recognizes 
acquaintances' voices of Crisis Center volunteers who call daily and calls them by name, even though they are supposed to remain 
anonymous. She gave up her driver's license just two years ago. She appreciates rides with friends and family, but is considerate 
of their schedules. She is a sports fan and watches UNC football and basketball on TV, even though her grandchildren went to 
Duke. According to her daughter, Annie Royal is a "night owl." She once persuaded her grandson to drive her to Topsail Beach at 
bedtime, rather than early the next day. 

Annie Royal keeps up with Church activities through the radio and newsletters. She enjoys having visitors and conversing on 
the telephone. She very much appreciated children from Church bringing Christmas goodies and a paper plate "stained glass" 
sun catcher, which is still hanging in her front window. Annie Royal Farmer says she likes everything about Wilson, and knowing 
people makes all the difference. She is a delightful lady, friendly, considerate, an interesting conversationalist, young-at-heart 
and a joy to be around. (12/1/98) 

George and Josephine Finch 
November 1997 

She was born on the farm her great-grandfather bought in 1869. Both her great grandfather and 
grandfather were preachers. The farm, which she now owns, is located in Wilson County near Rock 
Ridge. 

Josephine Wilson was born on October 16, 1921, to Sanford Warren and Mary Leecy Stott Wilson. 
Jo was one of five girls and two boys who grew up on a typical Wilson County farm. She and Ava 
Gardner were seniors together at Rock Ridge School and during the Christmas holidays that year the 
school caught fire and burned. The gymnasium and agriculture buildings were made into classrooms. 
In those days before air conditioning, she recalls how hot, tired and sweaty they would be from playing 
ball before time for French class. 

His mother said that he always loved staying home. When he was a teenager and his friends were 
dating, he would likely be around the house or out in the fields. Even now, he enjoys being at home. The middle one of three boys 
George Marlon Finch was born on September 1 0, 1 91 7, to John Plummer and Margaret Eva Morgan Finch of Middlesex in Nash 
County. 

One Sunday afternoon when Jo was 16, she and her sister were visiting nearby neighbors when George and his friend came by. 
When they rode home, George was seated by her sister, Ruth. The next Sunday when he came to visit Jo answered the door 
and told him that she was sorry but Ruth was not home. George said that he had not come to see Ruth. Only a few years ago, 
George described exactly what she was wearing that day, although Jo had forgotten long ago. They both dated others during 
the time they dated each other, and in 1938 they carved their initials on an oak tree at Flower Hill a place near Middlesex where 
friends gathered on Sunday evenings. Jo and George were married on December 24, 1944. "Eight" was their special number: 
They were married about eight years after they met; their son, George, Jr. was born eight years later; and after another eight 
years, their daughter, Susan was bom. 

George was employed by Imperial Tobacco Company for 40 years while farming at the same time. During those years, he 
attended Wilson Technical School, earning five certificates. He traveled so much from market to market throughout several states 
that he never really enjoyed traveling with Jo and the children. However, they did own a place on the Pamlico River for nearly 30 

31 




years before selling it in recent years to Libba and Walter Brown. Since George did not enjoy traveling in later years Jo toured 
"from Niagara Falls to Mexico and all in between." 

Before they were married, Jo lived at the late Mrs. Mattie Moss's when she first started working in the Advertising Department 
of Bissette's Drug Store making signs, etc. She worked there for ten years before working with John Draughn at West End 
Grocery. Later, she worked at Elvie School helping with everything from making bulletin boards and art projects to laminating and 
duplicating. Her co-workers were amazed to see her cut out numbers and letters without a pattern. 

When Jo was growing up, she and her family were members of Nobles Chapel Church in Wilson County where Jo was in the 
choir. After she and George married, they became members of Middlesex Baptist Church. When George, Jr. was four years old, 
their neighbor, Jackie Brooks, invited them to First Baptist of Wilson. They accepted and joined FBC in 1 956 while Clyde Baucom 
was pastor. Jo remembers that the budget was increased from $68,000 to $72,000 that year. 

Jo soon began helping Mrs. Moss teach the four-year olds in Sunday School, along with helpers Janie Reid Broadhurst, Mary 
Woodall and the late Claudia Bartholomew. She also helped with the Sunbeams, Vacation Bible School and the children's choir. 
Jo sang in the Sanctuary Choir for 20 years and participated in WMU. George served many years as an usher and frequently 
helped count money on Sunday nights. Although they are no longer able to be active in First Baptist activities, they enjoy having 
visitors, listening to the worship service each Sunday over the radio and receiving the newsletters. For four years, Jo helped 
with the Cub Scouts sponsored by Grace Baptist Church. The late Lucille McAnulty and Eagle Scout Henry Skinner helped her 
teach Cub Scouting to George, Jr., Edwin McAnulty, Leland Galloway and more than a dozen other boys. Jo and George built 
a log cabin with bunks and electricity in the Finches' back yard out of scrap lumber at a total cost of $15. Jo even rigged up an 
'alarm system' from the cabin to the main house by attaching a string to a tin can with pebbles in it. Of course, when Susan 
reached the age for Brownies, Jo was right there for eight years helping in the Girl Scout program (sponsored by the First 
Presbyterian Church) in everything from camping out with redbugs to chaperoning 23 teenage Girl Scouts to Mexico. Stephanie 
Creech Williams, Betsy Derrick, and Ellen Franklin were among First Baptist girls who enjoyed that trip. Julia Rand (deceased) 
and Ann Hackney were the other leaders. While Susan was taking dancing lessons from Mrs. Belle Hinnant, Jo, being quite an 
accomplished seamstress, sewed costumes for other students, as well as for Susan. During the 40s, Jo had her own business 
for a short time called 'Jo's Sign Shop' where she advertised 'Window Streamers and Show Cards.' George, Jr. is a landscape 
architect in Raleigh. He is married to the former Jennie Carlton from Warsaw, and they have three children: Carlton, 11; Mary 
George, 8; and Ann Miller, 4. Susan married Wesley McAden. They reside in Wilson and are the parents of three daughters: 
Ashley, 9; Grayson, 7; and Parmele, 2. Susan graduated in Interior Design and currently works as a teacher assistant in the first 
grade at New Hope Elementary School. The Finches are a very caring and devoted family. Susan lives nearby and stops in or 
calls several times a day. She and the girls sometimes take George and Jo on short day trips for a change of scenery. George 
enjoys riding along when Jo goes on errands. They enjoy their home, their yard and their grandchildren. Recently, Jo has re- 
landscaped their back yard. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and relaxing. (George 6/14/99) 

Alec and Barbara Flowers 
"The Senior Scene" December 1995 

It seems to be a marriage made in heaven. They met at Wilson First Baptist on the comer of Nash and 
Park Avenue when he was an usher there and she a teacher at Charles L. Coon High School. In the 
Spring of 1956, she walked to the Church from the Teachers Club on Gold Street to attend a Revival. 
The usher offered her a ride home, and then they began to date. They were married on February 24, 
1957, in Chapel Hill. 

She was born on March 21 in Winston-Salem and grew up in Chapel Hill. Because her father was in the 
Army Reserve and called to active duty in World War II to train troops at Aberdeen Proving Grounds in 
Maryland, she went to ten different schools in two years, in North Carolina and in Maryland. She was 
one of only 12 girls in her freshman class in UNC Chapel Hill, attending as a day student before girls 
were accepted as freshmen to live on campus. She graduated in 1955 and came to Wilson, where she 
taught English and Journalism for three years. During that time, she was responsible for the high school 
newspaper, The Radiogram. 

He was born November 23 in Bedford, Virginia, and grew up in Wilson. When his mother was seven months pregnant with him, 
she traveled from Wilson to Bedford to be with her dying brother. Alec Flowers was born there two months prematurely, a dresser 
drawer served as his bassinet. He grew up in Wilson, where his father opened Flowers Shoe Store in March, 1937. 

Flowers Shoes of Parkwood is one of very few third-generation family stores in Wilson. During the Depression, his mother taught 
shorthand and bookkeeping in the back of the store. Alec is now the owner, and his son Steve is Manager. Alec remembers what 
was probably his first business deal. When he was just a boy, Bob Boswell sold him a goat and wagon for ten dollars. 

32 




Alec graduated from Charles L Coon at 16 and went to Atlantic Christian College two years. He transferred to Duke University for 
his junior year and was drafted when he turned 1 8. For almost two years, he served as a Staff Sergeant in the Infantry. He ran a 
Battalion PX (Post Exchange) in the European Theater during World War II and was discharged in August 1946. He returned to 
Duke and graduated in 1948 with an AB in Psychology. 

Alec joined First Baptist Church in 1947. He taught Sunday School for ten or twelve years. He has served on the Board of Deacons 
for many years and is currently on the Board's Family Ministries Committee. He last served on the Building Use Committee. He is 
currently Sunday School Director and Vice President of the Brotherhood. About 1980, Alec began chairing a long-range planning 
committee with Mr. Bussey, Janie Davis Griffin and others. That was the beginning of the hopes, dreams and plans for the new 
Fellowship Hall we enjoy today. 

Barbara "retired" from teaching in public school to become a mother and homemaker. She and Alec had four children in less than 
eight years. Diane (Mrs. Paul Brooks), a graduate of Meredith, lives in Zionsville, Indiana, a suburb of Indianapolis. She is a real 
estate agent. Parker, a graduate of North Carolina State University, lives in Raleigh with his wife Kristi. He works with Glaxo- 
Wellcome in Zebulon. Steve, a graduate of Wake Forest, manages the family shoe store. Amy (Mrs. Mark Shore) is a graduate 
of UNC Chapel Hill. She taught fifth grade for five years in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system, but is now a stay-at-home 
Mom with two-year-old Hannah. The family lives in Wilmington, which pleases the doting grandparents. Mark is now Promotional 
Director for the Battleship USS North Carolina. When the children were growing up, each wanted various and sundry pets. At one 
time or another, they had everything from cats and dogs to guinea pigs and rabbits to parakeets and fish. 

Barbara joined First Baptist in 1955 soon after coming to Wilson. It has almost become her second home. She taught fourth 
grade Sunday School many years, as well as the Youth. She now teaches Adults in the Mary Martha Class. She is on the WMU 
Executive Board and serves on the Library Committee. Since our Assistant Pastor left, Barbara has volunteered to be Sunday 
School Literature Chairman, determining the needs of all classes' literature, ordering it from four or five different sources and 
distributing it. She was President of the WMU from 1 983-1 985, and was honored as the WMU Woman of the Year for 1 984-1 985. 

Barbara enjoys volunteering with Reading Is Fundamental, Home Delivered Meals and Hope Station Pantry. Barbara is an avid 
TV Sports enthusiast-she enjoys watching all sporting events. She pulls for UNC Chapel Hill in every sport they play, and she is 
an Atlanta Braves fan. 

Alec was in the Wilson Jaycees many years, during which time one of their main projects was to persuade the City of Wilson 
to merge the three hospitals (Woodard-Herring, Carolina General and Mercy) and build Wilson Memorial Hospital. While in the 
Jaycees, he was official escort for Miss North Carolina, Barbara Ann Harris. Alec also served as President of the Rotary Club, 
Chairman of Retail Merchants Division of the Wilson Chamber of Commerce, was on the Board of Directors when Wide Awake 
Wilson was promoted, was Chairman of the Wilson Board of Adjustment for three years, and served on the Wilson Zoning and 
Planning Board for six years. He highly recommends that any young person become active in civic affairs, as the experience is 
very beneficial. His hobbies are golf and fishing, both in local ponds and on the Outer Banks and along the coast. 

Now that the children are grown and scattered, the family always looks forward to spending Christmas together at home and 
attending the First Baptist Christmas Eve Service, after which, traditionally, they ride around town to view the Christmas lights and 
decorations. With the difficulty of getting whole families together for extended visits, all the Flowers plan to celebrate on Christmas 
Eve again this year. Barbara and Alec, together, are as one. Each seems to know what the other is thinking. 

One will finish a sentence the other starts. Alec has rather a dry sense of humor and Barbara has a bubbly laugh. They are 
devoted to each other and to their God. Through many years of service at First Baptist Church, they have influenced many lives 
and have made our Church a much better place of worship. 

Margie Ford 
"The Senior Scene" February 2003 

"Baby Girl" was born in Wilson on April 20, 1922 to James Elmer "Ellie" and Louise Eatmon Davis. It 
wasn't until later that she was given the name "Beatrice Margie," named for a popular song of the time 
called "Margie." She was the third of four girls, with her only brother the youngest child in the family. 
She attended Winstead Elementary School and Charles L. Coon High School. During her teens, she 
officially changed her name from "Margie" to "Marjorie." However, most of her family and friends call 
her by the nickname of "Margie," which she does not mind. She graduated from high school in 1939, 
the year that the twelfth grade was added to the curriculum. For the next few years, students had the 
choice of graduating from the eleventh or twelfth grade. Margie recently attended her sixty-second 
Charles L. Coon High School Reunion with the 1939 and 1940 classes. 

One day a friend telephoned her and said that he wanted her to meet a friend. She agreed and her 

33 




friend set up a double date with William Henry "Bill" Ford of Wilson. Margie did not date Bill exclusively in the beginning, but after 
they had gone together about two years, they were married in 1940. When they went to fill out the application for the marriage 
certificate, they had to go to the Register of Deeds to refer to her birth certificate, and it was then she learned she had been 
christened "Beatrice Margie." Bill was a bookkeeper with Jas. 1. Miller Tobacco Company for over forty years. They built their 
home on Highway 301 North in 1955 and Margie still resides there. Margie loves the beach and one summer she and Bill were 
swimming in the surf at Kure Beach with family and friends. She was enjoying riding the big waves when the straps of her bathing 
suit top slipped off her shoulders and fell down around her waist. She immediately ducked under water and pulled her top back 
up ... an embarrassing moment she will never forget. 

Margie was employed at several places before becoming a Service Representative with Carolina Telephone and Telegraph 
Company. In 1 983 she retired with twenty-eight years of service. Following Bill's death in 1 987, she went to Hope Station, saw the 
need for volunteers and started working FIVE mornings a week. After fourteen years she decided to "retire" and did so for about 
a year before continuing to volunteer at Hope Station for THREE mornings a week on the days the Pantry and Clothes Closet are 
open. Tuesdays and Thursdays are reserved for financial assistance. 

Before joining First Baptist Church in 1941 , Margie was a member of the Five Points Baptist Church. She and other teenagers 
always sat on the back row of the church, and during a Revival "hellfire and brimstone" sermon, every one of the teenagers 
walked down the aisle and gave their lives to Jesus. At First Baptist, she has been an active Sunday School member and enjoys 
regularly attending worship services. Her faithful companion for the last eight years is a Shih Tzu, one of a litter of about five 
puppies born at Hope Station. Tom Williams, Night Manager, was calling the largest of the litter "Tom Tom" and that is the puppy 
Margie chose to adopt. Tom Tom has a definite dislike for rain and wet grass, and Margie literally has to pull him outdoors by his 
leash in bad weather. Both of them enjoy walking in Toisnot Park on pretty days. Margie credits Tom Tom for keeping her active 
and getting her outside for exercise. There are also three or four "neighborhood cats" that don't officially belong to anybody but 
are fed regularly by Margie. 

In her spare time, Margie enjoys helping others, relaxing at home with Tom Tom, reading and watching television. In her many 
years of volunteering at Hope Station, there is no telling how many lives she has touched or how many people she has helped. 
Friends say that Margie Ford is a very special lady, most caring and sincere, a private person, quiet and unassuming. She is very 
family oriented and even though she has no children, her nieces and nephews are almost like her own. She is faithful in all her 
relationships ... Church, family, friends and yes, Hope Station and with her animals. (4/14/06) 

Joyce Goforth 
"The Senior Scene" April 1999 

She spent her seventy-seventh birthday, riding a horse! Last summer she, her two sons, daughter- 
in-law and two granddaughters spent a week at a guest ranch at Estes Park, Colorado. She survived 
bone lymphoma five years ago. While receiving chemotherapy, she was invited to speak on the 
Reading-ls-Fundamental program at the North Carolina State Extension Homemakers Convention in 
Fayetteville. The night before she was to speak, her hair fell out! Fortunately, she already had a wig 
on hand and was presentable when she presented her program. 

She was born September 2, 1921 on a farm in Coleman, Texas, the oldest of five children born to 
Everett Lee Roy and Myrtle Odom Parker. She recently attended the sixtieth Coleman High School 
class reunion (the first reunion their class has held). Of the 77 graduates, 11 of the 29 living attended. 



At eight years of age she had a tonsillectomy and was very impressed by her nurses' starched white 
uniforms and medical language. In the fifth grade she wrote a school paper stating that she wanted to be a nurse. She graduated 
from the Parkland Hospital School of Nursing in Dallas, Texas. Her father served in the Navy during World War 1 . Military service 
offered exciting opportunities, so she chose to enlist in the Navy. As a pediatric nurse, she was sent to San Diego to set up an 
outpatient pediatric clinic with two doctors. 

Joyce Nadine Parker met Foy Nelson Goforth of Elm City, North Carolina on a blind date in early 1944 in San Diego. Foy was 
a Naval officer and "very handsome in "his white dress uniform." While he was in the Pacific Theatre, they courted by mail and 
his letters always contained cartoons clipped from the shipboard newsletters. He was skipper of an LCI (Landing Craft Infantry), 
which carried hospital equipment and personnel; and he later became the First Lieutenant on a larger ship. They were married in 
Coleman, Texas on June 1 5, 1 946. They spent their honeymoon traveling by car to Elm City and then by train to Portland, Maine 
where his ship was in port. The ship soon sailed to Newport, Rhode Island. Driving there was a harrowing experience for Joyce 
with four-lane roads in both directions and traffic circles with exits in all directions. Foy was discharged from the Navy in the fall 
of 1946 and they moved to Elm City, one of sixteen moves in the first eight years of their marriage. 

Having graduated from Atlantic Christian College with a degree in Physical Science before the war, Foy pursued his graduate 

34 




degree in Agronomy at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and Iowa State College. During this time, Joyce obtained her Bachelor of 
Science degree in Home Economics from VPI and her Master's degree in Child Development from Iowa State, where she also 
held a teaching fellowship in the college pre-school department. Thanks to the G. I. Bill, she earned her degrees; thanks to free 
tuition for senior citizens at Wilson County Technical College, she has enjoyed taking courses in "everything from bricklaying to 
the fine art of portrait painting and religion." Joyce says that she "loves to go to school and take tests because she likes to know 
where she stands." 

Joyce and Foy were blessed with two sons, Foy Nelson, Jr. and John Parker Goforth. Both were born and educated in North 
Carolina. Nelson is single and has lived in Denver, Colorado for eighteen years, where he is employed in free-lance video 
work for TV advertising, as well as computer work at home for Action Temporaries. John, his wife, the former Pamela Mason of 
Wilson, and their two daughters, Sarah (11) and Anna Parker (6), live In Kinston, where he practices medicine as an internist 
with the Diagnostic Group. Foy retired after thirty-one years with Branch Banking & Trust Company. He was a past president 
of East Carolina Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Kiwanis Club and several other civic organizations. He also retired as a 
Commander after twenty-two years in the Navy Reserve. He died one week before his sixty- ninth birthday in 1990. 

Joyce's career includes many work experiences. She served two and a half years as a Navy nurse in San Diego and the Hawaiian 
Children's Hospital in Honolulu. After her marriage, she was Superintendent of Nurses at the Woodard Herring School of Nursing 
and taught there two years. She was on the Wilson School of Nursing Board twelve years, serving as Secretary ten of those 
years. She worked in public health in Richmond for a year. She taught eighth and tenth grade Home Economics at Charles L. 
Coon High School for one year. In 1963 she was asked to set up and teach the Nurse Assistant program for one year at Wilson 
Tech and she taught there five years. She served as a volunteer Red Cross Nursing Instructor for eleven years. Joyce's nursing 
experience was a blessing for Foy's mother, who lived with them twelve years. Joyce is the Reading-ls-Fundamental Coordinator 
for People's Chapel Extension Homemakers Club in Elm City. She averages serving one day a week as Docent at the Country 
Doctor Museum in Bailey and serves on the Board of Directors. The Museum has the largest collection of medical artifacts and 
memorabilia and the only permanent Art of Nursing Exhibit in the nation. Many of her personal things are there, from her Parkland 
Nursing Pin to her Navy footlocker. Both of her sons are Eagle Scouts, and she has been on the local Eagle Scout Oral Board 
of Review. Joyce served on the Wilson School Board Development Council during the time of the City-County merger. She is 
a member of the Friendship Force. She has the longest-standing continuous membership in the local American Legion, where 
she worked on the history book that won first place in the State contest and third place in the American Legion Auxiliary. She is a 
charter member of the thirty-five-year-old Wednesday Morning Book Club that meets on Tuesday, in which members take turns 
presenting the program. 

Joyce has enjoyed traveling extensively, with her husband on bank trips, Boy Scout trips and Friendship Force trips to all but four 
states of the United States, to Mexico, Canada, Italy, England and Scotland. When all of her family visited their American Field 
Service student, Carlos Maldonado, in Ecuador, they toured Inca land from the Equator in Ecuador to Cusco, Peru, including 
a night at Machu Picchu, last known place of the Incas. She still stays in touch with Carlos and his mother. Joyce has been a 
member of First Baptist Church since 1952, and, except for four years, has always held a position in WMU. She was Secretary 
of WMU when Louise Deans was President and Circle Chairman for four years. She was a Choir Mother with Don Hinshaw for 
about three years. She volunteered in the Church Nursery for nine years, her helpers at different times being Foy, Letha Baucom, 
Ruby Jaynes, Mary Alice Jackson (age 16) and Rusty Jeffries (age 9). In Sunday School, she taught third graders and sixteen- 
year-olds at times. 

The following is one of her favorite prayers, which she says expresses her true feelings: Dear Lord, please give me ... A few 
friends who understand me and yet remain my friends; A work to do which has real value, without which the world would feel the 
poorer ...A mind unafraid to travel, even though the trail be not blazed An understanding heart ...A sense of humor. Time for quiet, 
silent meditation — a feeling of the presence of God. And the patience to wait for the coming of these things, with the wisdom to 
know them when they come. -W.R. Hunt 

Joyce Goforth is outgoing and friendly with crinkly eyes and a ready smile. She is a very busy lady and seems younger than her 
years. Always willing to try something new, she plans to start playing bridge soon. Reading is her favorite pastime; and with her 
quick-thinking mind, she is knowledgeable in many subjects, especially history. Very enthusiastic and 
thorough in anything she undertakes, she says that she doesn't ever give up and likes everything she 
has tried. She sets a good example of how senior adults should live to the fullest of one's ability each 
and every day. 

Annie L. Griffin 
"The Senior Scene" November 2001 

Annie Lenore Edwards was born on August 30, 1914 to James David and Louellla Norvelle Edwards 
in Edgecombe County seven miles from Pinetops. She was one of six girls with only one brother. They 
grew up in a large farmhouse with six bedrooms inherited from her grandfather by her mother. She 
says that the family did not have a lot of material things, but she "valued what she did have and had a 

35 




great life." Her mother was an excellent seamstress and taught the girls to sew, a talent passed down through Annie to her own 
daughter. The children were allowed to buy some things for pleasure with money earned doing household chores. They had to 
give their old clothes to the tenant children before their parents took them shopping for school clothes. 

The Edgewood Free Will Baptist Church (only a short distance from their home) was an important part of their lives. The choir 
often practiced at their home, and this was a "big part of their social life." The late Irene Edwards Jackson (no kin), a former 
member of First Baptist Church in Wilson went to the same school and church in Edgecombe County as Annie. 

When Annie was five or six years old, a Mr. Hudson and his worker stayed in their home while installing carbide lights. Annie's 
mother asked her to serve coffee to their guests, and Annie called him "Mr. Studebaker" instead of "Mr. Hudson. "Annie graduated 
from South Edgecombe High School and took night classes at East Carolina Teachers College in Greenville. Later, while living 
in Wilson, she took various courses at Atlantic Christian College. While Annie was living at home, a tenant family named Griffin 
moved nearby and her brother invited one of their sons named John Lee to go to Sunday School and church; there she met her 
future husband. They dated about two years and were married on October 6, 1936. They lived on Dr. McClees' farm in Town 
Creek near Elm City the first nine years of their marriage. 

During World War II, she and others in the neighborhood (called Skywatchers) were responsible for identifying airplanes that flew 
overhead. During the time gasoline was rationed, John L.'s truck would not start and he asked Annie to pull the truck with the 
tractor to start it. When pulling the truck was unsuccessful in starting it, Annie suggested that John L. check the gas tank which he 
did and found that the gasoline had been stolen out of the tank. Annie and John L. lost their first baby the day he was born. Their 
only daughter, Hilda Annette, was born on March 20, 1941. Hilda was educated in the Wilson County Schools and earned her 
undergraduate degree at Atlantic Christian College. She taught high school English at various schools for seven years as she and 
her husband, George Varnell of Elm City, moved to different cities as required by his job with First Union Bank. Hilda received her 
Master's degree at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and became Head of the English Department at Central Piedmont 
Community College in Charlotte. 

Hilda (now retired) and George live in Marietta, Georgia. She grows hundreds of varieties of Hosta plants, does many kinds of 
needlework crafts and teaches Crafts to senior citizens at both a Baptist and Methodist Church. George is more like a son to 
Annie than a son-in-law. On Annie's last birthday, George tried to make eighty-seven candles out of those already on the cake by 
cutting them in pieces. Hilda took a picture of the cake on fire! The Griffins lived in New Bern for a brief time during the last months 
of W orld War II, where John L. operated a dairy farm and Annie helped milk the cows and raise the cattle. They moved back to 
Wilson when Cash Williams employed John L. to look after his family, and they lived in the old Williams Day Camp in Cavalier 
Terrace for two years while they built a home on Park Avenue near Avenue Gardens Florist. Kathryn and Herman Easom lived 
across the street from Williams Day Camp, and Dr. Easom commented years later how Hilda's socks and hair ribbons always 
matched. Griffin Township near Williamston was named for John L.'s family. John L.'s mother and handicapped brother lived with 
Annie and John L. for twelve years with Annie as their caretaker. They would drive to Fort Bragg to see John L.'s two brothers and 
to South Carolina to see his uncle while they were in service. His mother often said that she could not walk anywhere because of 
her ailing knees but she could get in the back seat of a car and ride everywhere. 

John L. and Annie originally started Raleigh Road Nursery on land nearer the city limits owned by Easter Lamm's late husband, 
Bruce. They built the present Raleigh Road Nursery about 1957 out of Silas Lucas bricks. Several people commented to them 
that the nursery would never be successful at that location because it was so far out of town. However, Annie has had no problem 
keeping it leased since John L. died in 1979. John L. collected old motors and Annie plans to pass them down to her son-in-law. 
George has a 1915 Model T Ford in Wilson which he plans to restore when he retires. John L. was restoring the car before his final 
illness. They sold their Park Avenue home and moved into a mobile home next to the Nursery where they planned to build a small 
home; however, these plans never matured and after John L.'s death Annie was content to stay on in their cozy mobile home. 
While John L. and Annie operated the Nursery, John L. taught the late Jack Jackson, Irene's husband (both former members of 
First Baptist Church) how to graft azaleas and camellias. Older local people will remember Jack's beautiful backyard garden on 
Anderson Street. Their daughter, Mary Alice Smith, has moved back to Wilson and is again a member of this church. 

In the early years, Annie and John L. "went back home" to Edgecombe County and attended Church there. When they lived 
on Park Avenue, Hilda joined First Baptist in the mid-fifties and her parents soon followed suit. They were involved in Sunday 
School and Church and served on the Baptismal and Grounds Committees. Annie was a member of a nighttime WMU Circle 
for years, along with Annie Lamm and the late Rachel Alford. Rachel had made a special trip to the office of Belk Tyler's where 
Annie worked to invite her to come to First Baptist. H. M. Jeffries, Sr., Annie's boss, was the first to invite her. Tollie Epps was 
the Griffins' family deacon. Despite multiple health problems, Annie Edwards Griffin has excellent recall and is the epitome of the 
word "perseverance." With her positive attitude, she makes the best of each day and keeps on keeping on. With part-time help 
and Hilda and George calling two or three times daily, she manages very well. She is sincere, kind, caring and devoted to her 
family. Even though she has not been able to attend worship services in recent years, she is very interested in the activities of the 
Church and attends Senior Adult Luncheons when her health permits. Annie usually joins the congregation by radio, especially on 
Communion Sundays when Maria Harris takes her Home Communion. She stays in touch with many people by telephone. Annie 
is a people-lover and delights in having visitors. (12/28/02) 

36 




Janie Davis Griffin 
"The Senior Scene" January 1994 

Janie Davis Griffin readily admits she was born on January 30, 1 909, in Farmville, N. C. She graduated 
from Converse College in Spartanburg, S.C., with an AB in Psychology and later did some graduate 
work at UNC in Chapel Hill. She taught school in Farmville for two years. She also worked in the office 
of her family's country store and in a tobacco warehouse there. 

She was married in the home in which she was born and raised, the homeplace dear to her heart, which 
burned in later years. In 1938, she and her husband, Charlie Griffin, made their home in Wilson and 
their Church home at First Baptist Church. Janie did some substitute teaching at Charles L. Coon High 
School. Janie had taught Sunday School in Farmville and soon began substituting for Mrs. Hugh Ellis. 
She helped prepare fund-raiser lunches in the carriage house, which was used as a Sunday School 
building. She also taught day-long sessions on missions. She taught the older women's class with Mrs. 
Anderson Boswell. She was the first teacher of the Dorcas Class and claims a total of nearly 60 years' 
teaching before retiring about three years ago. She always started preparing for the following week's 
lesson on Sunday evening. Janie took piano lessons for ten years and thoroughly enjoys musical "sermons." She says that in 
the valley days of her life, the music touched her in ways that sermons couldn't. Working on the Organ Committee Janie helped 
influence the decision to buy the superb instrument we have. (And everybody knows that this particular organ is the reason Clyde 
Patterson came to First Baptist!) Clyde says Janie is a very special lady, one with whom he enjoys laughing. She teases him by 
saying she'll pay him not to play the trumpet stop; and he tells her not to come on Easter because he'll play it anyway. 

Janie's son, Millard, was born prematurely and required constant care during his young years, causing Janie to give up her 
Sunday School Class temporarily. Older First Baptist members will remember Mrs. J. R. McLean, Mrs. T. F. Pettus, and Mrs. W. 
M. Moss. These ladies visited and ministered to Janie in ways that influenced her life and made her want to minister to others. 
She is always among the first to visit the sick and sorrowing, and usually with something in hand. Janie is very generous, very 
self-disciplined, and her life is well-ordered. She issues luncheon invitations in order to become acquainted with new members 
and to keep friendships alive. Her annual Christmas greeting to the congregation in the Newsletter is always filled with heartfelt 
love for God and for her fellow members. Dorsey Blount says Janie is one of the most unselfish people she has ever known — very 
interesting, intellectual and good company. 

Our community has also benefited greatly from Janie's services. She was a Gray Lady at the hospital for over 25 years. After 
World Was II she was Secretary of the Red Cross for several years. She has served on the Executive Boards of the United 
Way, the Arts Council and Hospice. After many years' service, she is still active on the Boards of The Salvation Army and Barton 
College (formerly Atlantic Christian College). She recently received the Honorary Alumnus Award from Barton. 

Janie has done extensive traveling on every continent except Antarctica. She spent nine weeks visiting every country in South 
America. She has been to Scotland five times and would like to go again. She says it is beautiful and not crowded; however, 
Ireland rated first in her mind for friendliness. She especially enjoyed touring Greece, Turkey, the mountains of Lebanon and other 
Biblical countries. She says Switzerland, France and Italy are gorgeous, but she would not want to visit India again. Barbara and 
Bill Bussey and Charles Barnes have traveled with her in Europe. At least one annual trip is planned to visit her son, Millard, in 
Seattle and her brother, Bob, in Hawaii. She says she loves traveling, but "there is no place like home." And her favorite pastime 
at home is reading. 

Janie says, "I love First Baptist Church and the individual people in it. I have lost two setsoffriends-those older than I, as well as 
most of my peers, but I have enjoyed rich friendships. I enjoy every minute, and I am at home with myself God gives me a day and 
a mind to choose what I will do with it. God has given me good health and a longer life than I ever had a right to expect. I credit 
my mother's prayers and the good people of First Baptist Church with making me the person I am. I feel the only way to make life 
worthwhile is by rendering service to others." Janie Davis Griffin, your words and your life are a beautiful testimony. Your Church 
family appreciates all you are and all you do. (4/20/07) 




Thurman and Annie Laurie Griffin 
"The Senior Scene" February 1996 

Annie Laurie May and Joe Thurman Griffin met when they were children— just nine and 11 years old, 
respectively. Her father was a minister, and their family moved from Hyde County to Centerville in 
Franklin County at Christmastime. 

Thurman and his young friends had heard that a preacher with three daughters was moving to town. 
On their first school day in January, the three girls came walking in line, the eldest first and youngest 
last. Typical boys, one said, "The first one's mine!"; another said, "The last one's mine!" and Thurman 

37 



said, "The one in the middle is mine!" The one in the middle was Annie Laurie May. They went through high school together, 
and Thurman always thought of Annie Laurie as "his girl,' .With access to his grandfather's general store, he kept her supplied 
with candy and chewing gum. They were dating, but not until the pangs of jealousy struck did he get serious about her. One of 
Thurman's friends bragged in his presence that he had been to see Annie Laurie, and that was when Thurman realized he truly 
loved her. 

Annie Laurie graduated from Campbell College and became a teacher in Elementary Education. For the four years he attended 
N. C. State College, Thurman was a member of the Reserve Officers' Training Corps. Upon graduation, he was commissioned 
as a First Lieutenant. At that time, he began his career as a teacher of Vocational Agriculture. Thurman was almost late for 
their wedding. He overslept that morning and 30 minutes before the wedding, he was eight miles away in Rocky Mount buying 
her corsage. The wedding took place on time April 11, 1936, in Red Oak Baptist Church, with Annie Laurie's father officiating. 
Thurman sincerely "loved teaching" and taught for a total of 40 years, 26 of them in Epsom, the same town where Albert Grissom 
went to elementary school. Thurman also taught in Vance and Sampson Counties, as well as Wake Forest High School. A college 
professor encouraged Thurman to attend night classes, and after five years, he obtained his Master's Degree in Agricultural 
Education. 

In conjunction with his work during World War II, he operated the community cannery for five years. Before retiring, he was 
Director of Occupational Education of Franklin and Vance Counties for five years, during which time he "advocated and saw 
implemented the following additions in the area of Vocational Education: Vance Senior High-Health occupations, automotive 
industry, bricklaying, welding and small motor repair; cooperative home economics program; agricultural cooperative training 
program and basic electricity"; as well as career exploration courses in Junior High School. 

Annie Laurie and Thurman have two children, Elijah Shelton (named for his grandfather) and Annie Jo. Shelton and his wife, 
Courtney, live in Wilson and have three children: William Taylor, Elijah Shelton and Courtney Anne. Annie Jo Gardner lives in 
Raleigh with her husband, Monroe. Her two children by a previous marriage are Betsy Elaine and Eric Estes Smith. Eric and his 
wife recently presented Annie Laurie and Thurman with their first great-grandchild, Thurman Griffin Smith. Although Annie Laurie 
was a teacher "off and on" for 20 years, she felt her first calling was a mother to her children and a "help-meet" to her husband. 
While their children were young, she enjoyed being a homemaker. She later taught in Nash, Franklin and Vance Counties. During 
her children's years in school, she was involved in their PTA organizations. After retiring from teaching, she was the Director of 
the Outpatient Department of Franklin Memorial Hospital for seven years, later working as a volunteer in the Hospital gift shop. 
She is still a member of the Town and Country Garden Club in Louisburg. 

Thurman is a past member of the Lions Club, Masonic Lodge and Farm Bureau, as well as the N. C. Vocational Agriculture 
Teachers Association, the National Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association and the American Vocational Association. He 
was on the Board of Trustees of Franklin Memorial Hospital for 26 years. For ten years, he taught the Men's Sunday School 
Class of New Bethel Baptist Church in Epsom, where they were both members for over 50 years. Thurman was a deacon 40 of 
those years, and in 1982 he was elected a lifetime deacon. He was a Trustee of the church for ten years and served on many 
committees, including the Building Committee during many physical changes to the church. Thurman was also a Franklin County 
Commissioner for four years. 

They moved to Wilson in April 1 993 to be near their son and his family. After visiting several churches, they surprised themselves 
by soon joining our "big church," after having been members of a small church most of their lives. Jane and Harold Frazier were 
influential in this decision; the Griffins had taught Jane and Harold in school. Annie Laurie and Thurman are currently substitute 
teachers at First Baptist. The Griffins enjoy traveling and consider Williamsburg, Virginia their favorite place. Together they have 
visited Canada and many places from coast-to-coast in the United States. Annie Laurie and her daughter once visited England and 
Scotland for three weeks. Annie Laurie enjoys knitting, crocheting, reading, visiting people and having people visit her. Thurman 
enjoys home gardening and is currently a member of the Wilson Deadhead Society of the Parks and Recreation Department. He 
and other volunteers prune the roses of the Wilson County Library Rose Garden, as well as the future All-American Rose Garden 
at the City Operations Center on Herring Avenue. 

The Griffins are a charming, friendly couple who have expressed a desire to know more members of First Baptist Church. They 
are a delightful, devoted couple who truly enjoy people but can be quite content in each other's company. They have readily 
adjusted to calling Wilson home." 

Annie Laurie and Thurman are very appreciative and firmly believe that our prayers, as well as those of many others, helped bring 
their son-in-law through an ordeal of a bone-marrow transplant for cancer last year. Doers of the Word and not just hearers only, 
they are dependable, deep-thinking Christians who love God's Word and don't mind sharing it. They are very committed to the 
Baptist faith and faithful in their attendance at FBC services and activities. It is a blessing and a privilege to be able to share our 
lives with Annie Laurie and Thurman Griffin. (Annie Laurie 4/24/02) 



38 




Willie and Lee Griffin 
"The Senior Scene" April 1993 

The gentleman's mother died when he was born in Edgecombe County, but his mother's widowed 
sister brought him to Wilson and raised him. The lady was born and raised on a farm in Wilson County 
and graduated from Rock Ridge High School. 

He worked at the Wilson theater; she, her sister and their cousins came to Wilson for the only 
entertainment available-the "picture show." The lady and gentleman met seven years after her 
graduation, and they dated for about two years before being engaged for about three months. They 
were secretly married in Nashville, NC, on April 29, 1 935. They only saw each other on weekends and 
perhaps once during the week. They announced their marriage the following Thanksgiving. 

After they were married, he worked at Wilson Drug Store for eight years and then at the U.S. Post 
Office for 37 years before retiring in 1980. She worked at Oettinger's until Billy, their oldest son, was 
born. At intervals of four years, they had another son, Sidney, and a daughter, Joan. 

They moved into their present home in the springtime when Joan was an infant. When asked what she'd like for Mother's Day, 
this mother of three said, "a bag of fertilizer," and that's what sl\e received! Through the years, this has been a standing family joke 
at gift-giving time. Both parents joined First Baptist in April 1955. When Joan entered the three-year Sunday School department, 
her mother entered with her, but was not promoted along with her daughter. Instead, she stayed 20 years, along with Eunice 
Johnson, Mary Alexander and others-helping to teach many of our children. She has also been active on the Flower Committee, 
in the Sewing Group for 13 years, and helps cook on Wednesday nights with Florence Pittman's group. 

Their three children finished college. Billy is in Florida; Sidney lives in Durham and has a son and daughter; and Joan lives in 
Lewisburg W. VA., and also has a son and daughter. Let's all wish Lee and Willie Griffin a VERY HAPPY 58TH ANNIVERSARY 
this week. (Willie 11/21/05 and Lee 11/27/05) 

Five Generations of Griffins 
"The Senior Scene" April 1993 

Early members of the First Baptist Church were George Henry Griffin and Annie Griffin (Mrs. Blaine) Forkner, brother and sister. 
George Henry Griffin married Delia Sharpe. Their son, Henry Russell Griffin married Roberta Tyson. The three children of this 
union, Henry Russell Griffin, Jr., Mae Sharpe Griffin (Mrs. Fred) Shackleford and Dan Griffin grew up in First Baptist. H. R. Griffin, 
Jr. married Mary Frances Uzzell. Their daughter is Frances Delia Griffin (Mrs. Albert) Buck, whose son, Matthew, was baptized 
last year. H. R. and Mary Frances' son, Robert Blaine Griffin married Cathy Bissette, granddaughter of Lessie Batts, also a FBC 
member, Robert and Cathy's son, Christopher Blaine Griffin was baptized Easter Sunday, 1 993. Congratulations to all the Griffins! 
First Baptist is truly blessed to have you. 

Albert and Mildred Grissom 
"The Senior Scene" December 1993 

She was the daughter of a tenant farmer in Valley Mills, located in the very center of Texas, 20 
miles from Waco. She was the eleventh of 12 children and the seventh girl. She was named 
Mildred, but the family wanted a boy and always called her "Jack." She shared in most farm 
chores. In the spring it was chopping cotton and shocking oats and wheat. The children in the 
family would go to school the first day, register, and then work in the fields until the cotton was 
harvested-that is, unless it rained. You can bet she prayed for rain during those days. 

At age 1 7, Mildred left the farm and went to the big city of Waco. With the help of her older sister, 

she went to Baylor University and earned a degree in Accounting and Economics. While there, 

she worked under the supervision of the Home Mission Board with the Indians in New Mexico. 

J Later, she went to the Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. Upon graduation, she 

^—^ accepted a job in Washington, NC, as Education Director. 




Albert's father was a barber in Henderson, NC. He is the oldest of three children. During World War II, Albert went for his physical 
exam to be inducted, only to be told there was a blood pressure problem. He begged the people on the draft board to let him 
come back the next morning in hopes of getting a lower blood pressure reading. He was finally accepted, but some months later 
wondered if that was a good idea when he found himself in a foxhole in France! 



39 



After the war, Albert moved to Washington, NC as Assistant Manager of the Charles Store. Mildred Kimbrough, the Education 
Secretary and Albert Grissom, a Deacon met at First Baptist Church. They dated over three years and were married following the 
morning worship service on Sunday, November 11, 1951. 

Mildred and Albert have three children, Jane, and twins, Beckie and Jeanne. All three girls are married and live in Raleigh. To hear 
them tell it, they have three near-perfect grandchildren-Jane's Justin, and Beckie's Hannah and David. Mildred says that David 
has a "listening" (not hearing) problem and therefore spends several days a week in "time out". 

Albert has been in the retail business all his working years, being transferred to Wilson in 1 952 with the Charles Store. He became 
associated with Belk in 1954 and recently retired after serving 39 years. Mildred has been involved in some form of church work 
all her life, serving as secretary of our own church for over 30 years. 

Vacations have always been fun for the Grissoms, especially all those annual Texas trips. Mildred tries to bring a "piece of Texas" 
or a family memento back each year. Last year, her father's small brown rocker rode in the front seat with Albert, while Mildred 
rode in the back. That suited Albert just fine— the chair could not talk back to tell him how to drive. This year, she brought back a 
small wheelbarrow and some cactus from the cemetery where her parents are buried. 

Since they were teenagers, they have taught Sunday School wherever they were-all ages from the seven year department 
to Senior Adults. They especially like working with children. They are seldom able to sit together in church. One or the other 
is usually filling a car with children to bring to the Lord's house. Grandchildren come first for both, but Albert likes fishing--and 
Belk's (Mildred says). She enjoys sewing. They have been and are involved in many civic and volunteer ministries, such as 
Search For Action, Hope Station, Wilson Crisis Center, Group Homes, etc. It seems their greatest joy is in working with the First 
Baptist members in almost every facet of the trip. More recently, they have become involved with the Baptist Children's Homes 
throughout North Carolina. 

After 42 years of marriage, they are still enjoying their togetherness. Two people from different parts of the country with different 
personalities (self-described as one extrovert and one rather shy) with one common denominator: love-love for the Lord and love 
for each other. There is no telling how many lives they have touched and influenced positively, if not changed completely, through 
their love for people and dedication to our Lord's work. 

Sid and Anna Harmon 
"The Senior Scene" October 2002 

Do you rememberthose old-fashioned desks in school with separate seats having the next desk attached 
to the back of the seat? The ones in the Ahoskie, North Carolina public schools accommodated two 
students in each seat. When a certain new boy walked into a certain girl's seventh grade classroom, 
she said, "Isn't he the cutest thing you've ever seen?" and punched her seatmate in the side with her 
elbow, knocking her friend out of the seat and onto the floor! She was attracted to him then and they 
started dating the next summer before they entered eighth grade. They dated all through high school, 
breaking up briefly just once in a while and dating others; but they always made up and went back 
together. 

When they were high school juniors her curfew was always 11 p.m., and one hot summer night, he 
happened to give her a "quick good night peck" on the lips just as her father came downstairs and 
passed the front screen door, saw them and yelled, "Cut that stuff out!", scaring both of them. By the 
time she glanced at her father and turned to face her boyfriend, he was jumping over the front hedge. 

Their birthdays are less than two months apart. William Sidney Harmon was born to Bill and Rosalie Harmon on September 27, 
1939 in Newport News, Virginia and was the second of three sons. Anna Darden Gatling was born on November 17, 1939 in 
Ahoskie, North Carolina to Robert Lee and Hester Henry Gatling. She is also the middle child with a brother four years her senior 
and a sister thirteen years younger. 

During high school, Sid worked nights and weekends at Boone's Pharmacy in Ahoskie. He and Anna graduated from Ahoskie 
High School and continued dating while they were in college. Sid enrolled at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and 
she entered Woman's College of the University of North Carolina in Greensboro (now UNC-G), where she graduated with a 
Bachelor of Arts degree in History. For four years while at UNC, Sid worked every summer in Washington, D. C. in a drug store 
owned by his elder cousin. He worked his way through college with loans, scholarships and odd jobs. He became known as the 
"Umbrella Man" because he regularly sold umbrellas to UNC sports fans until merchants in Chapel Hill complained about his 
competition and threatened to pursue legal action against the University. 

After two years in college, Sid got up enough nerve to ask Anna's father for her hand in marriage. Although her father insisted to 

40 




her mother that the seven years they had gone together was not long enough, with a little persuasion from her mother, he finally 
consented. And so Anna and Sid were married a year later on August 28, 1 960 just prior to their senior year in college. 

Armed later with his degree from the UNC Pharmacy School, he began working as a Registered Pharmacist in his cousin's drug 
store. Anna became pregnant and busied herself as a homemaker at their new home in Silver Springs, Maryland. On the day the 
baby arrived Sid and his mother were alone in the waiting room when Anna's doctor walked in holding a brand new baby with a 
dark complexion. Before the doctor could say anything, Sid's mother fell backwards and nearly passed out. The doctor then asked 
Sid if he had seen John So-and-So and added, "Oh, I have your baby in the back." 

The name "Lee" belongs to many family members. Anna's father and brother were Robert Lee, Sr. and Jr. "Lee" was Sid's 
grandmother's maiden name, and his mother's name was Rosalie. When the Harmons' daughter was born they wanted to 
name her "Tammy Lee," but the hospital insisted that "Tammy" was a nickname and they needed a full given name for the birth 
certificate. When Sid visited Anna in the hospital the next day, Anna asked, "Sidney, can we name the baby "Tamara" (pronounced 
"tomorrow") and Sid replied, "I thought we named her yesterday." 

After Tammy was born in 1961 Anna was determined to raise her according to Dr. Spock's baby book. She was convinced 
something was terribly wrong when Tammy consistently slept for longer periods of time than the baby book said. She was also 
convinced that Tammy had either German Measles or Chicken Pox until her pediatrician reassured her that Tammy only had a 
heat rash and that she should count her blessings that the baby was sleeping so well. Anna finally relaxed enough to discard Dr. 
Spock's book. With the responsibility of raising a child, Anna and Sid decided they would prefer living in Eastern North Carolina 
rather than the metropolitan area, so in 1962 they moved to Hertford where Sid worked a year as a Pharmacist, then bought the 
store and named it Harmon's Pharmacy. 

While in Hertford, Anna taught high school Social Studies and was a guidance counselor. They loved the town and. the people 
there, but Sid was working twelve hours a day, seven days a week and realized he was practically a stranger to his family, their 
second daughter, Tasha Jeannine, having arrived. (Anna loved European History, especially enjoyed Russian history, and they 
were teased more than once about their daughters' "Russian" names.) 

In 1968 they sold the Hertford Pharmacy and for a year or more he was employed as a Pharmacist at a drug store in Suffolk, 
Virginia. Anna taught fifth grade in Suffolk but was very unhappy because she felt she "was out of her element.." During this time 
Sid was looking for another drug store which might support two pharmacists and heard that Terminal Drug Store in Wilson was 
available. One day Sid asked Anna if she would like to move to Wilson and she turned in her resignation papers the very next 
day. After much consideration they bought the store in January 1970, and Anna has worked side-by-side with Sid as the store's 
bookkeeper. (People who don't know that the pharmacy is located by the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Terminal question a store 
with the name "Terminal Drug Store.") 

The Harmons had another daughter, Anna Courtney, who died when she was only three days old. Their youngest is a son, 
Brian Lee, who is a Sales Associate with Cox Dodge. Tami (who changed the spelling of her nickname while in high school) is a 
Marketing Director with RBC Centura in Wilson. She is married to David Wiggs and they have two children, David Thome Wiggs 
(11), a student at Forest Hills Middle School, and Tamara LeeAnna Wiggs (8), who is a student at Vinson-Bynum Elementary 
School. 

Tasha is a vocalist and teaches music at Oaks Road Elementary School in New Bern, NO She is married to Kenneth Weatherington 
and they have one son, Richard Lee, (2 1/2). When LeeAnna ("LeeLee" or "Lee") heard her new cousin would be called "Lee," she 
said "Oh no, everyone will get us mixed up-let's call him "R. Lee," and it stuck. Tasha later found an old letter from her maternal 
grandfather signed "R. Lee," which was very meaningful to the whole family. Therefore, the name "Lee" now belongs to four 
generations of the family. 

Anna was raised in the Methodist Church, but some of her family are Baptist, so she grew up in both churches. She joined the 
Baptist Church in Hertford, and Sid transferred his membership there from Powellsville. After moving to Wilson they attended 
and then joined Wilson First Baptist in January 1 971 . Anna is a member of the Mary Martha Sunday School Class, serves on the 
Flower Committee, maintains the FBC Memorial Book and has been an active WMU member. 

Anna's favorite hobbies and pastimes are gardening, reading, sewing and family time. She is a member of the Garden Department 
and the Public Affairs Department at the Wilson Woman's Club and served as the Club President from 1992-1994. She is a District 
Director of the North Carolina Daughters of the American Revolution and enjoys traveling around the state to fulfill her duties. 

Sid, now semi-retired, is a member of the Sertoma Club and the Elks Club. His hobbies are golf, yard work and grandchildren, 
not necessarily in that order. Anna and Sid Harmon are a close, loving couple working together in the family business, their 
beautiful country home and large yard which they have enjoyed since building on Lamm's Road several years ago. They are 
very family-oriented and enjoy family get-togethers, especially in the backyard pool. They are very efficient in everything they 
do and both go the extra mile to help others. Sid is concerned about each one of his customers and is very attentive to their 

41 




individual needs. 

Anna is friendly and has an outgoing personality. She has a caretaker's heart, not only for her own family (including her brother 
and sister), but for everyone, especially older people. A friend said that Anna would do anything in the world for you if she knew 
your need. She is a "computer whiz" and talented as an interior decorator with her experience making curtains, draperies, bed 
covers, etc. for all the family. First Baptist Church and the City of Wilson are indeed fortunate the Harmons decided to settle 
here and serve their fellow man amongst us. 

Lillian Harrell 
"The Senior Scene" March 1995 

Her mother's family was related to General Robert E. Lee, and her grandmother told of remembering 
General Lee coming to visit the family on his famous horse, Traveller. Her parents were William George 
Gooding, a merchant like his father before him, and Gooding's wife, the former Mary Lavonia "Molly" 
Griffin. Their plantation in McPhersonville, South Carolina, was situated next to the Kresge (of dime 
store fame) plantation. The Goodings' fifth child was born November 24, 1908, in Hampton, SC, one of 
five daughters and two sons. Family devotions were a very important part of their daily schedule. 

Our friend was very fortunate to have an older sister who loved to sew clothes for her. When she was 
in high school, the younger daughter liked to play basketball . She had a horse named Rose and broke 
her arm once when she fell while riding. After finishing high school, she worked at Western Union for 
some time. 

She was invited to spend her vacation in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, with her youngest sister and 
brother-in- law. While there she met a handsome young man. Their ensuing friendship blossomed into love, and they were married 
the following May 7 (1927). Lillian and Dan Harrell lived in Rocky Mount in the early years and became parents of two daughters. 

Because he was commuting to his job as foreman at Hackney's, they decided to move to Wilson. Mr. Harrell later went into 
the furniture and upholstery business for himself. Some of his furniture is still in our church parlor. Lillian was happy to be a 
homemaker and full-time mother. She often served as grade mother in her daughters' school. When the girls were young, Mr. 
Harrell would often play the banjo while they all sang. When Gina and Joyce received their bicycles, Lillian and Dan both rode 
around the block; however, Lillian fell off and skinned her knee. Their family pet lived 13 years, but "never knew he was a dog." 

The Harrell daughters grew up to be teachers and are now retired. Gina lives at home and helps take care of her mother. She 
enjoys her many activities at First Baptist and her volunteer work at Wilson Memorial Hospital Gift Shop. She is also on the WMH 
Auxiliary Board. 

Joyce and her husband, Kenneth Lamm, have recently returned to Wilson and built a home here. Joyce enjoys participating in 
duplicate bridge tournaments. Lillian's only surviving grandchild, Kent Lamm, graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill and Columbia 
University Law School in New York and is a real estate attorney in Charlotte. 

Some of Lillian's closest friendships were formed in First Baptist Church — Lucille Boswell, Janie Griffin and Pat Walston, her 
Sunday School teachers for many years, Nellie Watson and Berlie Epps, to name a few. Lillian and Dan used to play Canasta 
with Maude and Leon Mills and Myrtle and Troy Lynn. One of Lillian's favorite memories is of times Polly Pridgen, Nora Joyner, 
Nannie Barefoot and Lillian would go down to the Harrell's summer home at Bayview and spend their time eating, sleeping and 
playing bridge. Nora was the only one who loved to fish, but none of them, including Nora, would get in a boat. 

Lillian and her next-door neighbor, Addie Gardner, are old-fashioned neighbors. They really care about each other. Unable now 
to visit back and forth often, one or the other calls every day for a telephone visit. Lillian used to enjoy growing flowers and doing 
various crafts. She was an active member of the Wilson Woman's Club, Eastern Star and Shrinettes. 

Although Lillian can no longer attend Sunday School nearly as often as she'd like, she faithfully reads her Bible "the first thing in 
the morning and the last thing at night." She misses Mildred Grissom's teaching and her friends in the Bethany-Rebekah Class, 
as well as the Senior Adult Choir and the church itself. She is a past president of her Sunday School Class and was always very 
active in WMU She still attends most Senior Adult Luncheons, helping to fold napkins ahead of time. 

Lillian Harrell enjoys company very much and appreciates friends dropping by. With the warmer weather coming, you just might 
find her on her front porch and enjoy "sitting a spell' with her. Lillian, you are a faithful friend and dear to our hearts. We miss 
seeing you at church as much as we used to, but we think of you often and wish you well.. (5/30/01 ) 



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A. J. Hayes 
"The Senior Scene" May 1995 

Think of a man in our church who is young in heart, mind and body, dedicated in spirit to our Lord Jesus 
Christ and devoted to his church family and fellow man; add in a great sense of humor and a penchant 
for teasing his friends, and you may guess ~ our Senior of the Season Born on a farm a couple of miles 
east of Wilson, he has lived in Wilson all his life, except for a few years in the Civilian Conservation 
Corps. When he lost his father, the family moved to town so his mother could get to her workplace more 
easily. 

Our young man graduated on his eighteenth birthday in 1933 from Charles L. Coon High School. A 
week later, he joined the CCC and was stationed in Hyde County at Swanquarter for thirteen months. 
He returned to Wilson and was working in the sausage factory at Armour & Company when Dr. Hilley, 
President of Atlantic Christian College, called and asked if he was interested in going to college. His 
boss overheard the conversation and encouraged him to talk with Dr. Hilley. He was offered a basketball 
scholarship and entered Atlantic Christian in February 1 935. He spent the next summer back in the CCC, stationed in the Smoky 
Mountains National Park. In the fall, he returned to ACC where he kept up his academics and still played basketball, baseball and 
did some boxing. 

The next year, he went to work with Barnes-Harrell Coca Cola Company for two years before returning to Armour & Company 
in 1939. However, his life's vocation began in July 1940, when he joined the Wilson Police Department. He worked his way up 
from a regular patrolman on the street to desk clerk to identification officer to Sergeant and then to Captain. When Chief Albert 
A. Privette died in 1967, Andrew Jackson Hayes, Jr. was made Chief of Police. During the ten years he was Chief of Police, the 
personnel increased from 40 officers to 80. He served a total of more than 37 years before retiring. 

A. J. met the love of his life, Polly Barfield from Columbia, SC, "in an alley"! She worked with Western Union and had to keep the 
office open until Wilson Daily Times Sportswriter, Ed Davis, came to wire the Wilson Tobs (Tobacconists) baseball score to the 
News and Observer. That night, there was a double-header that lasted until after midnight. Because it was a hot summer night 
with no air conditioning, Polly was sitting in the back doorway trying to catch a cool breeze. A. J. left the Police Station, which also 
opened out into that alley, and seeing Polly, struck up a conversation with her. After learning she had lived in Kinston with Sarah 
Bain Ward's mother, he offered to take her to Kinston to visit Ms. Ward, and Polly accepted. Knowing Sarah Bain also, he invited 
her to come along with them. 

In Wilson, Polly lived with Gertrude Barnes, mother of Wiley and Charles. She lived, at one time, with Kitty Clinkscales and her 
mother, who were also members of this church. Polly and A. J. dated for about six months before being married on November 8, 
1941, in the First Baptist parsonage on Daniel Street by Dr. Hugh Ellis. After their marriage, A. J. changed his membership from 
First Christian Church to First Baptist in order that his family might worship together. He always says, "I was a Christian before 
I was a Baptist." A. J. says that Mr. Baucom did not appreciate that remark. The day he joined First Baptist, Mr. James I. Miller 
said to him, "I teach Sunday School in this building every Sunday morning, and I expect you to be here next Sunday." That night, 
Russell Stephenson called A. J. and told him about the Brotherhood and not only invited him to come, but offered to pick him up 
on Tuesday night. 

A. J. was present on both occasions and has been very active in Sunday School and Brotherhood ever since. However, he admits 
he was not very active during the nine years he was on night duty in police work. He was ordained a deacon in 1952 in the church 
at Nash and Pine Streets and continues to serve willingly, as he has for many terms. One day at the old church, A. J. asked Mrs. 
Lottie Collins, the church secretary, how and when the church was organized. Mr. Baucom overheard and told A. J. about the 
handwritten records of the organizational meeting and the Minutes of the Board of Deacons. Mr. Baucom then asked A. J. if he 
would copy and preserve these records, a tedious job which he and Polly did together. 

Polly and A. J.'s daughter, Ann, was born in 1942. She graduated from Atlantic Christian College with a degree in math and music. 
She graduated from the Theological Seminary in New Orleans with a Master's Degree in Church Music and went to work at First 
Baptist Church in Oxford as Minister of Music. Ann is married to Frank Daniel and they have one son, Reid. Reid attended NC 
State University and then went to Fort Sam Houston with the National Guard Medical Division to take medical courses. 

When Carolyn Hill was Youth Director in this church, A. J. and Polly went to Camp Kanata with the Youth Group. There, Polly, 
always known for her delicious fresh coconut cakes, fulfilled her reputation as a good cook. A. J. helped her maintain that 
reputation by always grating the coconuts for her. Carolyn and the young people were very attentive to Polly during her long 
illness and consequent death in 1985. At the old church, A. J. was also active in BYPU and recalls leading sword drills for the 
young people, including Mary Frances Collins, Russell Stephenson, Jr., Ida Joyner, Judy Thompson, Connie Spivey, Eleanor 
Herring (Blake) and Freddie Deans. 

A. J. has been very active in the Brotherhood and remembers when they met in the "Barn." Back in 1966, he was helping with 

43 




the Brotherhood Christmas Auction and at that time, smoked about three packs of Chesterfield cigarettes a day. He gave out and 
asked Roy Webb for one. Roy said, "No, you smoke too much and you ought to quit anyway. Why don't you?" So, A. J. did quit 
then and hasn't smoked since. 

Always interested in our community, A. J. was a member of the Kiwanis Club and the Junior Chamber of Commerce. He worked 
with Jaycee President, Bill Redding, to sponsor a bill in the North Carolina Legislature to abolish fireworks because several 
children in Wilson had been severely injured. A. J. has also served on the Executive Board of Hospice. He volunteered as a blood 
donor with the American Red Cross, giving nine direct transfusions in one year during World War II. He became anemic and was 
ordered by his doctor to stop giving blood. A. J.'s hobbies are fishing and golf. He didn't take up golf until after he retired; and now 
he enjoys that so much, fishing has taken a back seat. However, he recalls many a good fishing trip to Topsail and other places 
with Horace Ricks and other friends. There's a saying in the Peanuts cartoon strip: "You're a good man, Charlie Brown!" We at 
First Baptist Church say, "You're a good man, Andrew Jackson Hayes, Jr.!" (4/10/06) 

Lucille High 
"The Senior Scene" April 2000 

Lucille Paris Stallings was born April 2, 1919, the youngest child and only daughter of John William 
and Lucy Paris Stallings. She grew up in their Lee Street home and has lived in Wilson all of her life. 
Lucille graduated from Charles L. Coon High School and attended Atlantic Christian College and East 
Carolina Teachers College one year each. She had two older brothers, John, Jr. and Herbert. John 
married the former Hilda Shute and both are deceased. Herbert and his wife, Margie, currently divide 
their time between Rocky Mount and Florida. The Stallings were members of First Baptist Church. 

Lucille's aunt Molly Paris, was owner of Paris Hat Shoppe. Lucille's mother and her sister, Ella Phillips, 
worked there, and Lucille helped during their busiest seasons, such as Easter. When Molly Paris 
died, she left the shop to her two sisters, Lucy and Ella. Lucille and J. Tom High were high school 
sweethearts and dated for about three years before getting married in 1938 when she was 19. They 
set up housekeeping in an apartment next door to Joyner's Funeral Home on Pine Street. Tom farmed 
most of his life, but for about eight years, also had a Laundromat at Five Points, where Lucille worked with him. She was also a 
homemaker and mother to their three children, Tommy, Jimmy and Molly (named for Lucille's aunt). In 1951, they built the home 
where she still resides. Both Tommy and Jimmy graduated from the Air Force Academy. Tommy retired after thirty years and 
teaches high school part time. His wife, Betsy, teaches elementary children in Kilmarnock, Virginia, northeast of Richmond on 
Chesapeake Bay, where they live. Their two daughters are Allison and Angela. Allison and her husband, Jim Howard, have two 
children, Emily and Andrew. Jim is a Resource Officer at Fike High School in Wilson, and together, they make and sell pottery. 
Allison is very talented at painting and handcrafts. Angela is married to Tim Pippert and both are professors at Augsburg College 
in Minnesota, having received their doctoral degrees in 1999 when their daughter, Caroline, was only two years old. 

Jimmy retired from the Air Force after 20 years. He and his wife, Nancy, lived in Orlando, Florida before moving to England for 
three years, where he is working on a design project for the British Military through a private company. Jimmy and Nancy have 
two daughters, Kristin, a Certified Public Accountant in Orlando, and Melanie, an attorney, who lives in Fort Myers, Florida with 
her husband, Nate Tuttle. 

Molly graduated from Atlantic Christian College and is a retired teacher. She is married to Larry Boone and they reside in Wilson. 
Her son, Jay Wilson, teaches Calculus and Statistics at East Chapel Hill High School, which was recently pronounced one of the 
five best high schools in North Carolina. Jay, who also teaches at Duke University in the summertime, has a son, Noah. Larry has 
two sons and a daughter. Tom was a devoted Methodist, helping to start and becoming a charter member of West Nash Methodist 
Church, where he was Treasurer until his first heart attack. 

Lucille grew up in First Baptist Church and was baptized in 1930. Her leaders in Sunbeams and Girls in Action were Lucille 
Tomlinson's mother and Lottie Frances Collins, respectively. Soon after her marriage, she joined a Circle that included members 
Mrs. Pettus and Mrs. McLean, and she has been active in Women's Missionary Union ever since. Also, right after she was 
married, she began teaching two and three-year-olds in Sunday School at the old church with the legendary Mrs. Mattie Moss, 
continuing to teach in the new quarters. Later, Lucille resigned from teaching the younger children, because she felt she was 
only a baby-sitter. When she told Frances Broadhurst of her decision to resign, Frances said, "You are wrong — you are not just 
baby-sitting! Every Sunday, Duran comes home singing "Jesus loves me, this I know, for Mrs. High tells me so." Later, she taught 
six and seven-year old children, as well as high school senior girls. Lucille was also a Den Mother for the First Baptist Cub Scout 
Pack 8 when her sons were in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. When in Wilson, she enjoys morning worship, Wednesday and 
Sunday evening Bible Study, WMU and Senior Adult activities. 

Not many ladies can wear their wedding dress to their 40th anniversary celebration. Lucille High did, and Jackie Brooks immediately 
recognized the brown crushed velvet street-length dress. For that occasion in 1978, Torn gave Lucille a ruby and diamond ring. 

44 



In the fall of 1 981 , after Torn died in April, she was having the gutters cleaned and helping by taking the fallen pine straw off the 
boxwood shrubs. Only later did she realize both the anniversary ring and her wedding ring were gone. She was very upset and 
worried because of their sentimental value, but neither she nor Molly could find them anywhere. Molly said, "Don't worry, they'll 

turn up.' About a week later, her bedtime devotional scripture included "Let not your heart be troubled which touched her 

intensely and she finally had a good night's sleep. The next day, her morning devotional scripture was "Seek and ye shall find" 
.... this also seemed very meaningful. She put on her robe and slippers, went out the back door and around to the front where 
the sun glinted off something shiny in a boxwood. Yes, it was her anniversary ring! And in the pine straw below, she found her 
wedding ring! 

Tom had the first of three heart attacks in 1 961 . After he retired, they bought a cottage at Topsail Beach in 1 966. Although he died 
suddenly at the beach, Lucille started spending each summer (from April to mid-October) at their cottage. She is active in the 
Emma Anderson Chapel there, which is a small interdenominational church. She taught three to five-year-old children and served 
on the Board of Governors (similar' to our Board of Deacons) for five years. Church members sponsor guest preachers, who, 
along with their families, are invited to stay in the parsonage from Tuesday until the following Monday. Bill Bussey has been their 
guest preacher many times and is scheduled to preach again in September. Linwood Walters from our church and Lisa Mullen 
(Betty Mullen's daughter-in-law) from First Presbyterian Church in High Point are among others who have participated. There are 
usually several beach going Wilsonians in attendance at the 10 a.m. service. 

When Tom was President of the Lions Club, the Lions Club Auxiliary for Women was organized and Lucille was selected as 
the first President. She is presently a member of the Book Review and the Wilson Woman's Club. In the past she has enjoyed 
crocheting and knitting; however, her current hobbies are reading, playing bridge and shell collecting. 

Lucille Stallings High is a very special person, complimented by friends and acquaintances as humorous, friendly and outgoing, 
personable and hospitable, fun-loving and fun to be around, considerate and helpful, understanding, never saying unkind words- 
-just a lovely, wonderful person! She is certainly missed when she's out of town. (12/2/01) 

Bruce and Nancy Jernigan 
April 2001 

Nancy Ruth Camden was born April 18, 1929 in Roanoke, Virginia (just prior to the Great Depression) 
to Olin and Lottie Hudson Camden. Her brother, Billy, was born in early 1932 and, unfortunately, had 
"six-week colic." Nancy has since been informed that she told family visitors, "I'll pack his clothes if you 
will take him home." The family moved to Wilson in 1937 when her father got a job with Thurston Motor 
Lines. When the youngest child arrived in 1942, Nancy was old enough to baby-sit and says that Billy's 
self-appointed job was to spoil Olinda. In 1941, Nancy made a profession of faith in Jesus as her Savior 
and joined the Lutheran Church. When the family moved across town, she transferred her membership to 
First Baptist Church and sang in the Sanctuary choir for many years. During high school, Nancy worked 
at Efird's Department Store and Leder Brothers on Saturdays. After graduating in 1948, she worked for 
Certified Public Accountant Joe Hanchrow and discovered that being a secretary was not for her. In 1 950, 
she started working at Carolina Telephone Company and worked there ten years. 

One of eleven children, Bruce Earl Jernigan was born May 29, 1920 in Greene County to Lonnie and Myrtie Howell Jernigan. 
Bruce became a meat cutter and was working in Stantonsburg when his sister, who worked for the telephone company, introduced 
him to Nancy in 1953. His first wife, the former Janice High, had recently died. Later, Bruce worked in Saratoga, Bailey, and with 
Swift and Company in Wilson before being employed by Food Lane. 

Nancy inherited a ready-made family when she and Bruce were married November 21 , 1 954 with the addition of her stepdaughter, 
Becky, age six. Their son, Alan, was born in 1960 and was thoroughly spoiled by Becky who rocked him, and told him how 
pretty he was. When he was only walking and talking a little, she taught him some of her high school biology, such as the word 
"chlorophyll" when he was asked what makes the grass and leaves green. By the time their daughter, Margaret, arrived in 1963, 
Becky was really gifted at "spoiling." Nancy was a homemaker from 1960 to 1974 and felt like she was running a taxi service 
for the children's choirs, Scouts, etc. Margaret attained the highest rank in Girl Scouts. At one time Nancy was a Den Mother for 
Cub Scouts. She also helped with the Scout-a-Rama several times and did the decorations for some of the Scout meetings. She 
received Scouting's Green Band Award. 

Nancy took Ceramics at the Recreation Center and worked there three months when the regular helper's husband had a heart 
attack. After Nancy made a Nativity set, First Baptist Church had a hobby and craft show. Grady Nutt was a guest at this show 
and said that the Nativity set was one he would never forget. She felt sure his compliments to others were just as nice, but it was 
very special to her. 

While Alan and Margaret were still in school, Nancy went to work with Wilson County Schools. She spent nineteen years in the 
one-on-one tutorial program. Most of those years were spent as lead tutor, which meant she was responsible for all the records 

45 




and scheduling all the children. Her last year with the school system was spent in the classroom as a teacher's assistant. Going 
from one-on-one to a full classroom was quite a challenge. Becky finished high school in 1966 and graduated in 1970 from UNC- 
Greensboro. In 1968 she married Dan Finch of Bailey. She works part-time at the Wilson County Library and also has her own 
laboratory where she clones blueberries to ship to foreign countries for Finch's Nursery. Dan and Becky's son, Justin, recently 
received his degree at Appalachian. Alan studied electronics at DeVry in Atlanta and is now working with Merck-Pharmaceutical 
Manufacturing in Wilson. Margaret attended Wilson Technical College for two years and earned a $1,000-per-year transfer 
scholarship. She then attended Atlantic Christian College for three years where she received her degree in Laboratory Technology. 
She lives in Zebulon and is a Laboratory Technologist at Raleigh Community Hospital. 

Fishing and hunting were Bruce's favorite sports. His fishing stories went from the first catfish he caught being left outdoors in the 
cooler "because Nancy didn't want that ugly thing in her refrigerator" to several times when the boat turned over. Twice he had to 
fish his equipment and fishing partners out of the water because they could not swim. His hunting memories are also special to 
him; the years when he had good vision, his target shooting was extremely good. Just recently he saw a friend who announced 
at another Church's Senior Adult luncheon that he remembered many times throwing up two pennies at a time and that Bruce 
could shoot them both in the air. Since Bruce's retirement, mowing the grass, tending the garden and fishing keep him busy. Even 
though his sight and hearing are not what they used to be, he enjoys these pastimes and does them well. 

In her spare time, Nancy has always enjoyed crocheting and cross-stitching. For several years, she belonged to the Wilson Civic 
Chorus under the direction of Mr. Daniels at Atlantic Christian College and fondly recalls when the Chorus sang at Mr. Daniels' 
second wedding. Since retirement Nancy feels fortunate to be available to provide transportation for several people to doctor and 
hospital appointments. At church Nancy helped with toddlers during Extended Session. She stopped for three years and then 
started teaching the Kindergarten Sunday School class. The five-year-olds there were the toddlers she had taught earlier. She 
continued to teach the Kindergarten and First Grade classes which were combined. When Children's Church for Kindergarten 
through Third Grade was started, Nancy enjoyed being Wendy Winslow's helper. Later Nancy began to teach this group and they 
decided to use the same scripture and topic as they planned for the eleven o'clock service. Nancy enjoys working with both of 
these groups. 

Nancy's mother, Lottie Camden, has always especially enjoyed the Senior Adult luncheons, and Nancy brings Lottie and Bruce as 
often as possible. Nancy and Bruce are also active in mid-week and special services. They are a very devoted and family-oriented 
couple. Nancy is a very committed and dedicated Christian. She is there every Sunday with her wealth of knowledge, talents and 
craft material to provide the children with a fun way of learning about the Bible. First Baptist Church is very fortunate and most 
appreciative to have Nancy Jernigan teaching our young children, both in Sunday School and Children's Church. (Bruce 2/9/04) 



Oris and Eunice Johnson 
"The Senior Scene" February 1993 

They eyed each other as early as seventh grade! Later he sat behind her in school and aggravated 
her. She watched him play basketball before he knew she liked him. They started dating in the tenth 
grade at Cleveland School in Johnston County and dated four years. Of course they could only date 
on weekends and she had to be in by ten o'clock. 

After graduation, he served in the Army for almost three years. While he was stationed at Fort Bragg, 
they were engaged a year before getting married in the parsonage at Four Oaks. There was NO 
honeymoon! He returned to camp in preparation for overseas duty; and because she was the eldest 
daughter in a large motherless family, she returned home to help raise her siblings. After he was 
transferred to Fort Jackson, he contracted meningitis; but the Army still sent him to France for six 
months. Then he was sent back to Virginia, where he soon received a medical discharge. They moved 
to Wilson and set up housekeeping in a rented room where their first child was born. For a two-year period, they lived and farmed 
with his father in Johnston County before returning to Wilson to make their permanent home. They recently celebrated their 49th 
anniversary! Congratulations Eunice and Oris Johnson! We are most fortunate to have this wonderful couple and three of their 
four children and THEIR families doing the work of our Lord here at First Baptist. (Oris 3/21/03) 





Willie Johnson 
"The Senior Scene" February 2000 

Willie Privette was born in Wake County March 5, 1914 to Lou Etta and John Linsey Privette. Her 
parents were farmers and when she was five years old, they bought a farm at Samaria in Nash 
County. She was the youngest of eight daughters, and the eldest (Romie Turner's mother) was grown 
when Willie was born. All are now deceased except Willie, and most of them lived into their 90s. She 
has many "lovable" nieces and nephews all over North Carolina who say that Willie takes the place of 

46 



their mothers. Although they dated others, Otha was very jealous of her boyfriends. Three years after her graduation, Willie and 
Otha were married and lived on a farm in Middlesex, attending the Middlesex Baptist Church. They had three children: James 
Donald, Zell Grey and Brenda Lois. When Brenda started school, they moved to a farm in eastern Wilson County and became 
active in Stantonsburg Baptist Church. 

Willie began working in downtown Wilson at Charles Store. She later worked long days (7 a.m. —6. p.m.) as Manager of One Hour 
Cleaners on West Nash Street., Soon after buying their home on Kenmore Street in Wilson, her husband had a heart attack and 
was in the hospital several weeks. Willie gave up her job at the cleaners and stayed home for a while. She then worked for the 
Linen Shop while it was located downtown and after it moved to Parkwood Mall. 

The last place she worked before retiring was at the Mill House (a remnant shop) when it first opened at Ward Boulevard and 
Herring Avenue. Otha worked at Happy Valley and also as a meat cutter. They all worked on the farm, doing everything that sons 
would have done, such as plowing, cutting wood, working in the tobacco, com and cotton fields and caring for the animals they 
raised. Her "job" was to water the flowers, shuck the com and feed the hogs. The family had a big garden and canned everything 
they could for food in the winter months. 

Church was a very important part of their lives. Lingering outside afterwards to talk with friends and neighbors was something they 
all looked forward to. 'When there was time for pleasure at home they enjoyed climbing trees, riding the mules bareback, fishing, 
playing in the snow and in the playhouse they made in the woods and driving the surrey with the fringe on top! 

Because Willie attended school in a one-room schoolhouse, listened to the lessons for older students and took their exams with 
them, she finished seven grades in six years. She started eighth grade at Middlesex High School riding from Samaria to Middlesex 
with a former teacher. During that year, she met James Otha Johnson and dated him off and on throughout high school. When 
she finished high school her mother was not well, so Willie stayed home to look after her instead of going to college. She did live 
and work in Durham for a brief time. 

Their son, Donald, finished high school and joined the Air Force. While stationed in London, he met and married his wife, Lee, 
and they had a son, Jamie. While Jamie was still a baby, Willie visited them in London. She enjoyed sightseeing in Scotland and 
many other places while she was there. Don served in the Air Force twenty years before retiring and died in a car accident in 1992 
at age 59. His widow remarried, but she and Jamie still keep in close touch with Willie from their homes in Florida. Zell married 
Ceyna Bell and they had two sons, Wayne and Dennis. Zell lives in Durham and sees Willie regularly. Wayne and his wife, Rose, 
live in Hillsborough and have a daughter, Holly Marie Bell. Dennis died in an accident in 1985 at age 27. Brenda married the 
year she finished high school and had one son, Tommy Taylor. The year before he started school he went into a diabetic coma 
while participating in a parade. He is married to the former Tammy Francis, who has a daughter named Ashley (eight years old). 
Tommy is improving from a recent kidney and pancreas transplant although his body rejected the pancreas. Tommy remains on 
our Senior Adult prayer list. Brenda is now married to a heart specialist and lives in Fayetteville. 

Willie's husband died in 1980 after a second heart attack. After his death, Willie changed her membership from Stantonsburg 
Baptist Church to First Baptist Church. Dr. Will Young encouraged her to volunteer at Wilson Memorial Hospital, which she did 
three days a week until she broke her ankle and was in a cast for three months. Later, Willie was seriously injured in an automobile 
accident in which her sister, Hettie, (Annie Lamm's sister-in-law) was killed. 

Willie Johnson says that she is enjoying her senior years. She is a member of the First Baptist Senior Adult Choir and is actively 
involved in Senior Adults and other Church services and activities. She also enjoys the lunches, trips, exercise and other activities 
at the Wilson County Senior Center on South Goldsboro Street. Growing flowers is a favorite pastime, probably because of her 
mother's love of flowers; however, she enjoys keeping house also. Willie Johnson is a quiet, rather private, and unassuming 
person with a pleasant smile and an affectionate hug. Friends describe her as kind, thoughtful and agreeable. Her close friend 
and neighbor, Mary Hood (former member of First Baptist) says that Willie is like a sister to her and is always a willing helper, 
nurse and consoler. Willie loves her Lord, her Church, her family, friends and neighbors. She has encountered many tragedies 
during her life, but has an unwavering faith in God. She brings to mind the following scripture from 
Philippians 4: 11 "I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances: and from Philippians 4:13, 
"I can do everything through him who gives me strength." (10/15/07) 

Jesse and Dot Joyner 
"The Senior Scene" September 1998 

Lydia Wright Amerson became a member of First Baptist Church, Wilson before 1900. Her daughter, 
Jessie Catherine Amerson, and son-in-law, Joseph Clinton Joyner, were members "all their lives." 
Her grandson, Jesse Clinton Joyner, joined when he was 13 years old. His siblings are Joe Joyner of 
Wilson and Ida Haworth of Vicksburg, Mississippi. Jesse and his wife, Dorothy Boyette Joyner, were 
married in our old church at Nash and Pine Streets on June 26,1950 and "Dot" joined the church about 
a year later. 




Dot was born in Wilson County and Jesse was born in the town of Wilson just weeks apart. Dot was the daughter of John 
Thomas and Bessie Farmer Boyette. Her siblings are Virginia Lee and John William Boyette, both of Wilson. Dot graduated from 
Rock Ridge High School and entered Atlantic Christian College, where she met her future husband after an old girlfriend of his 
suggested that he ask Dot for a date. 

Jesse graduated from Charles L. Coon High School in Wilson in 1 946 and served in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II for 
three years. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural Economics in 1951 from North Carolina State University 
in Raleigh and served in Farmers Home Administration of the U. S. Department of Agriculture in Wilson, Greenville, Raleigh and 
Washington, D. C. from 1956-1988. For the last 15 years, he served as Chief of the Farmer Programs Division and as Program 
Loan Officer of the N. C. Agricultural Finance Authority in Raleigh. He has been a member of the N. C. Society of Farm Managers 
and Rural Appraisers for the last twenty-one years. 

In 1988, Jesse was presented "The Order of the Long Leaf Pine" by then North Carolina Governor James Martin. Earlier, in 
consecutive years, he had received the U. S. Department of Agriculture Superior Service Award, personally and for his Emergency 
Loan Division. While in Washington, he was an officer in the U. S. Army Reserve in the Adjutant General's Office for 25 years, 
retiring as a Major. During that time, he continued his education in Army, Agricultural and Financial Schools, including the U. S. 
Army Command and General Staff College. His Army courses included the Adjutant General Career Officers' Course, National 
Security Management, Inter-governmental Relations and Logistics. Upon retirement, he was then employed by the North Carolina 
Agricultural Finance Authority until he retired again in 1995. Since his second retirement, Jesse has become very interested in 
genealogy and history, especially of our Church, Wilson County and the War Between the States. He has taken many courses 
at Wilson Technical Community College, including building and upholstering furniture, as well as computers. Although he has a 
home computer, he says he is not on line and, therefore, does not correspond with family and friends. Jesse is currently a member 
of the Wilson Board of Adjustment, the Wilson County Board of Equalization and Review and the Board of Directors of the Wilson 
County Genealogical Society. He volunteers with Hope Station and Meals on Wheels. 

After they were married, Dot taught in the Wilson City and County School Systems and the Wake County Schools for nearly 
ten years before becoming a stay-at-home mother. However, for the last 15 years, she has been employed by L & E Market 
Research in Raleigh, commuting each day. She is an active member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. While they 
lived in Wilson, Dot was an active member of the Wilson Junior Woman's Club, where she was selected as a Member of the Year 
and also served as President of the Club one year. Dot and Jesse's children are Jesse Jr., Virginia and Catherine. Jesse. Jr. of 
Charlottesville, Virginia works with DuPont in Waynesville. He is married and the father of Jesse, III, Amber, William and Dorothy. 
Virginia Joyner Kennedy is a homemaker, who lives with her husband and children, Jessie Catherine and Clayton, in San Rafael, 
California. Catherine Joyner lives in Wilson and works with foster children at Wilson County Social Services. Dot and Jesse enjoy 
their grandchildren and traveling, a nice twosome to combine. They usually venture to California once or twice a year to see their 
daughter and her family. They recently attended a family reunion in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and also recently enjoyed a tour of 
our National Parks. 

Both Dot and Jesse were actively involved in their churches in Raleigh and Fairfax, Virginia. In both churches, Jesse held many 
offices, served as deacon and on numerous committees. Dot was involved in Woman's Missionary Union and Girl's Auxiliary. 
Since transferring their membership to Wilson First, Jesse is on the Historical Committee and was recently elected to the Senior 
Adult Council, where he was appointed to the Hospitality Committee. 

We are pleased that Jesse and Dot have returned to their "roots" and are active once again in First Baptist. They are a warm and 
friendly couple, and we appreciate their sharing their talents with us. Although Dot is still a "working woman," they have enjoyed a 
couple of Senior Adult journeys with us. We look forward to the time she will be able to spend more time with Jesse in our Senior 
Adult activities. If you are not acquainted with Dot and Jesse Joyner, please make an effort to know them-they are a delightful 
couple. (Jesse 2/8/00) 

Alma King 
"The Senior Scene" October 1993 

Alma King was born June 9, 1924 in Sharpsburg. Her mother was a homemaker and her dad was a 
farmer. She had three brothers and one sister. When her mother passed away, Alma was only five. She 
moved to Battleboro to live with an aunt. 

Alma met Johnny King in 1940, and they were married in 1947. After their marriage they moved to 
Wilson. They had two daughters-Brenda and Wanda. The family attended the Missionary Baptist 
Church at Five Points. Later they moved their membership to First Baptist. Alma is a regular attendant 
at Sunday school, church, Wednesday night services, and Sunday night Bible study. 

In the church, she has served on many committees--the Chancel Committee, Flower Arranging, the 

48 




Lord's Supper Committee, Senior Adult Luncheons, Wednesday night suppers, and has assisted faithfully in Bible School 
activities. When Alma's daughters were young she served as a Girl Scout Leader and did volunteer work at the Recreation 
Center. Today Brenda lives in Wilmington and is the mother of Alma's grandson, Tracey. Wanda resides in Raleigh where her 
daughter Anissa, is a senior at State College. Alma welcomes the opportunity to have her granddaughter living nearby since her 
family lived in Egypt a number of years. 

Alma's hobby is flower gardening which she enjoys sharing with others. Alma enjoys doing volunteer work and has worked 
faithfully at giving of herself to the church and the community. She volunteers a day a week at Wilson Memorial Hospital and has 
for the past 33 years. She is also a regular visitor to nursing homes. Alma, we thank you for all of your support in our church and 
the community. 




Annie Lamm 
"The Senior Scene" November 1995 

Once upon a time a little girl in Wilson County rode a school bus 12 miles back and forth to schools. 
She said she was "poor and didn't know it." Still, she couldn't help but wonder how it would be to 
own a ring and a watch, as did two other little girls who rode the same school bus. She was born on 
Halloween in Taylor's Township to her father's second wife. His first wife died at age 42. There were 
eight children in the first marriage, and five in the second. Of those last two girls and three boys, she 
is the only one living. She graduated from high school during the Great Depression and wanted to go 
to college and become a teacher. However, there was no way for a farmer with 1 3 children to send his 
children to college. Besides, her father was ill, so she stayed home for about three years to help take 
care of him. After her father died, she entered Carolina General Hospital Nursing School in Wilson 
in 1 935. It was affiliated with Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, and some of the training took 
place there. The students had to buy books, but paid no tuition and received no pay. 

Next door to the hospital, Carolina General Nurses' Home was across the street from First Baptist at Nash and Pine Streets, so 
most of the nurses went to Church there. Their graduation ceremonies were always held there. Tradition has held-Barton College 
graduate nurses still have their graduation ceremonies at First Baptist. After graduation, our young nurse started to work in the 
Carolina General Hospital operating room. 

Even before nurses' training, she met the man in her life when a cousin brought him to her home and introduced them. They went 
together about seven years and were married in 1940. He grew up in Spring Hope, and they lived there after they were married. 
Her husband had worked in a general merchandise store in Spring Hope and later worked at two grocery stores on Tarboro Street 
in Wilson. Both stores have since been torn down. Sadly, Harvey Lamm died in 1973. Side-by-side pictures on a wall in her home 
are proof of what a handsome couple they were. Although they had no children, she's happy she has many nieces and nephews. 
Annie Lamm had no trouble getting work in a Spring Hope doctor's office and worked there six years. They moved to Wilson in 
1951, partly because she wanted to work in the hospital again. Back in the operating room she worked her way up to Supervisor. 
The new hospital opened in 1964, and she was Supervisor until her retirement in 1983. She nursed a total of 45 years! 

Annie really enjoyed her time of retirement. She was honored with several parties, one by the hospital and one a surprise party 
given by the staff and doctors of the operating room. All the surgeons she had worked with were there, and they roasted her. Dr. 
Robert Youngblood, a former member of First Baptist, announced, "Mrs. Lamm hasn't learned yet she can't please everybody." 
Of course, that is never possible, but she did always try. Before all the celebrations were over, she had received roses of almost 
every color — red, pink, yellow — treasured moments, every one. 

Annie has gone to Sunday School as long as she can remember, but because no one told her the plan of salvation when she 
was young, she did not join the church until her late twenties. However, her brother-in-law was a minister, and he and her own 
pastor's wife helped her understand, so she joined Ephesus Baptist Church in Spring Hope and was baptized in the Tar River. 
When she and Harvey moved to Wilson, they moved their membership to First Baptist. They didn't visit other churches; she knew 
First Baptist was where they belonged. They always enjoyed attending regularly. Annie has always been active in the WMU and 
led a Circle for eight years. Lucille Cockfield was on the nominating committee and persuaded her to continue each year. Annie 
finds missionary studies especially interesting. She is currently a member of Group V with Sue Copeland as Facilitator, and the 
Friday morning Bible Class with Jackie Brooks. She is past president of the Senior Adult Council, and she was in the Senior Bell 
Choir as long as it was active. She is a charter member of the Senior Adult Choir. She has served on many Church committees. 
She is past president of the Friendship Sunday School Class under Sallie Boswell and currently serves as vice-president. 

Annie enjoyed traveling even before her retirement, going to several nurses' conventions in various states. One of her favorite 
trips was to San Francisco with nurses from Wilson and Richmond. They traveled by bus along the northern route and returned 
through the south. At an Arizona motel, the manager's little daughter had excitedly waited all day to see the bus load of nurses 
in their starched white uniforms. How disappointed she was when they arrived in ordinary street clothing! Annie also enjoyed 
traveling with Carolyn Hill as tour guide for First Baptist Seniors. Throughout her travels, she recalls following President Kennedy's 

49 




route in Dallas, seeing Jerry Clower in Fort Worth, visiting many places including Nashville, Tennessee; Wisconsin, Delaware, 
New York, the New England states and Nova Scotia. They cruised from Florida to Nassau and the Bahamas. Camp Caraway and 
Fort Caswell were also favorites. Once, in the Taft Hotel near Union Station in New York with our Baptist ladies, a man cautioned 
them about the dangers lurking on the streets. The next morning, when Annie knocked on Lillie Kinney's door, Lillie had to move 
a heavy piece of furniture from in front of the door before she could open it. 

Annie worked with the Bloodmobile for several years. She was a long-time member of the Altrusa Club, which stands for Amity, 
Loyalty, Talent, Reciprocity, Unity, Service and Achievement. She received the Altrusan Award of the Year in 1985. She is an 
active member of the Carolina General Nurses Alumni, which meets monthly. She has delivered Meals on Wheels with Sarah 
Whitley since 1 983. Then a year and half ago, Annie made a misstep at her curb, injuring her hip and shoulder. She had to give 
up her Church activities and traveling while she recuperated. Happily, she's now back in full swing in all her church activities. 

Those who know Annie Lamm know she is appreciative, benevolent, cooperative, dedicated, efficient, faithful (and right on through 
the alphabet to) pleasing, quiet. ... and a willing worker. How wonderful that she's part of our First Baptist Family! (11/16/02) 

Easter Lamm 
"The Senior Scene" March 1996 

Easter Murray was appropriately named, since she was born on Easter. Of eight children - two 
boys and six girls — one brother died at 18 and one sister died at 21. Her father owned a general 
merchandise store and was postmaster of Middlesex, North Carolina. She was baptized at Samaria 
Baptist Church in Samaria when she was twelve years old. She moved to Wilson to go to business 
school, where she met her future husband. When a friend introduced her to Roy Holdford, he asked 
if she had a nickname because he did not like the name "Easter." She did not have a nickname, but 
said the first thing that came to mind-"Jackie." From then on everyone on his side of the family called 
her" Jackie," and everyone on her side of the family continued to call her "Easter," which she prefers. 
Easter and Roy went together six months before their marriage in 1927. She has lived in Wilson since 
that time, except for six months, when her husband was sent to Danville, Virginia. The Holdfords had 
four children: Lib Narron, Roy, Jr., Billy and Jimmy. Lib (now deceased) was a social worker; Roy, 
Jr., (now deceased) was a District Attorney; Jimmy (now deceased) was Manager of Merrill Lynch; 
and Billy is head of the law firm of Narron, Holdford, Babb, Harrison and Rhodes. Having lost three 
of her four children, as well as two husbands, Easter said that Mildred Grissom was a tremendous comfort and help in times of 
grief through her teachings in Sunday School of the promise of eternal life. Another great help has been her 8 grandchildren (all 
grown) and six great-grandchildren (with two more expected this coming August). She is very proud of each one in her family and 
thoroughly enjoys being with them. She says that they have all been such a blessing. 

When Lib was a junior in college, Easter asked Edwina Wells, Principal of Woodard School, for a job in the lunchroom; and at the 
same time she asked for a day off, so that she might attend her daughter's graduation the next year. Easter admits that was "kind 
of nervy." She went to UNC-G and East Carolina for special courses in Lunchroom Management. She got the job and worked as 
Lunchroom Manager for 13 years. Later she held the same job at Pike High School for three years. When she stopped working 
at Pike, her son-in-law hired her to work at his law firm, where she was bookkeeper. 

One of Easter's favorite pastimes was fishing, and she and a friend she worked with would go to the beach every weekend to 
fish. She also loved to travel. When she had been a widow for eleven years, a friend asked Easter and Bruce Lamm to go out 
together to make a foursome. During the six months they went together, he asked her four times to marry him. To make sure they 
could enjoy the same things together, Easter took Bruce fishing. She also made sure he liked to travel, play Bingo, etc. She even 
invited him over the same evening her five grandchildren were spending the night in order to see if he got along with children. 
He entertained them with magic tricks, and they were thoroughly fascinated. True to form, Easter went with Bruce six months 
before marrying him. She said when two people believe they are right for each other, she does not see any reason for a long 
engagement. 

When Easter was 86, the N. C. Department of Motor Vehicles presented her a Safe Driving Award for 70 years of driving without 
a mark against her record (even though the records don't go back that far!) Easter has driven in all 48 Continental states and in all 
Provinces of Canada except one. She has traveled extensively, including 1 5 countries in Europe, New Zealand, Japan, Australia, 
Hawaii, Nova Scotia, Nassau, and up to the gates of the Great Wall of China, there being no access at that time. While visiting 
Hawaii and the countries in and around the Pacific Ocean with her second husband, their home base for two months was a cruise 
ship, a "really, really nice trip," Easter said. 

Another favorite pastime is playing bridge. Easter says that is one thing she would enjoy doing more. One thing she does not 
particularly enjoy is talking on the telephone. Easter looked after her sister-in-law, who had a stroke and could not speak, for 16+ 
years. During that time, Easter traveled to Raleigh and Fuquay-Varina to care for her before moving her to a Wilson nursing home, 

50 



where she died in 1995. 

This year marks the twenty-second that Easter has been an active volunteer Gray Lady at Wilson Memorial Hospital, a "job" she 
enjoys very much. She also volunteered at the Wilson Crisis Center in the past. As a member of the Woman's Club, Easter has 
been very active in the Garden Department, serving as Treasurer several years. She was made a Life Member some time ago. 
Easter was a charter member of the Altrusa Club, where she served as Vice-President and President at various times. She was 
also a member of the Lions Auxiliary. A long-time member of both the local and state chapters of the Business and Professional 
Women's Club, she has served as Vice-President and President of the local club, as well as Treasurer of the North Carolina 
BPWC. While President of the local group, she traveled to a convention in Detroit, Michigan on the bus. Not knowing there was 
more than one bus station, Easter was caught up in quite a bit of confusion upon arrival. Also, having had to change buses at two 
o'clock in the morning, she was determined not to ride the bus back to Wilson; so she went out, bought a new car and drove home 
by herself! In 1965, While Easter was President of the Wilson Business and Professional Women's Club, she was presented 
an engraved silver tray as the Member of Merit Award. However, something that meant far more was when the presenter, Miss 
Nancy Pruden, commended her for her leadership in the BPWC and said, "Although Mrs. Holdford has been in the business world 
only a short time, she was a homemaker for many years, which is the greatest business in the world. And from your home come 
four outstanding citizens." 

Easter has been a member of First Baptist Church since 1941, a past member of the Flower Committee, and a regular member 
of WMU and the Bethany-Rebekah Sunday School Class where she has been President and Treasurer. She enjoys Family Night 
and Senior Adult functions. To know Easter Holdford Lamm is to know a quiet, dignified lady who likes her privacy, but enjoys 
people, one who loves the Lord and appreciates the beauty of His world, a family person whose eyes light up when a grandchild 
or great-grandchild is mentioned, a fashionable woman willing to model in our fashion shows, a very independent-yes, even 
"spunky" lady. (1/16/06) 

JENNIE LEE 
"The Senior Scene" May 1999 

Jennie Louise (then called Jennie Lou) Newbold was born in Sanford on February 29 to Henry Clay 
and Callie Perry Newbold. She was reared in Elizabeth City along with two brothers, one younger 
who lives in Elizabeth City and an older one who died recently in Burlington. Jennie admits she was 
never content to be "only a member" and always took on added responsibilities. During her senior 
year at Elizabeth City High School, she was Salutatorian of the Senior Class and sang a solo on 
graduation night, co-editor of the yearbook and directed the Senior play. Although she took piano 
lessons for years, she says that she is no pianist and "passed requirements for piano at Meredith 
College only because her voice teacher interceded for her." She graduated from Meredith in 1949 
with a Bachelor of Arts degree as a voice major. Her first job was working at First Baptist Church in 
Raleigh as Youth Director, a job she held for two years. 

The late Lewis Wells Lee grew up in Dunn, served as a pilot in the U.S. Air Force during World 
War II and graduated from Wake Forest College in 1949. He was working with the Department of 
Transportation and waiting to enter Dental School when he and Jennie met in Raleigh. Jennie thought he was the fiance of a 
friend, but he turned out to be the friend of her girl friend's fiance. One day she saw the two men downtown and impulsively 
introduced herself, causing Lewis to tease her for years saying that she had "picked him up." They started dating in the Spring of 
1950, the same year Lewis became a charter member of the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry. Jennie spent two 
years working as Director of Religious Education at First Baptist Church in Elizabeth City, during which time Lewis thumbed a ride 
every other weekend to see her. They married on September 5, 1953 and lived in Chapel Hill a year until Lewis graduated, during 
which time Jennie worked as a secretary at the UNC School of Business Administration. After they married, she did not want to 
be called "Jennie Lou Lee," so she dropped her middle name. 

Jennie had never heard of Wilson before they moved here in August, 1954 when Lewis began his dental practice in association 
with Dr. Bill Umphlett. They lived on Monticello Drive next door to Ed and Olive Spivey (former FBC members) for eleven years. 
While living there, they adopted three children. Cynthia, Thorn and Carter. In August 1966 they moved into the home they 
built on Wilshire Circle. One of Jennie's favorite memories is of a trip in 1974 that the whole family took driving out West in a 
recreational vehicle for three weeks. The older children were thirteen and eleven, but Carter (six) had just learned to distinguish 
the sign "MEN." It was a wonderful trip until Lewis had a minor wreck in Carlsbad Caverns that disabled the front end of the R V 
necessitating a rental car for the drive home. Lewis would never tell Jennie how much this unfortunate incident cost. 

The family always had dogs and cats. Lewis and J. Whitfield Lee were frrst cousins. Frances Lee, Whitfield's wife (former FBC 
members), gave Jennie's family a cat named Prissy who lived to be sixteen; Anne Morgan Sharpe, daughter of Minnie Morgan 
(former FBC members) gave them Tom Cat who lived to be seventeen; and there were a couple of Eskimo Spitz dogs named 
Princess I and Princess II, as well as a mixed breed dog named Taffy. 

51 




Their daughter Cynthia lives in Wilson, Thorn lives in Florida and Carter, a dentist like his father, lives in Wilmington. There are 
four grandchildren: Casey is in school in Greensboro; Anna and Dean are in the eighth and seventh grades, respectively, at 
Toisnot Middle School and Henry is in second grade at New Hope Elementary School. 

Dr. Lewis Lee died suddenly in January 1993 while they were packing for a trip to Charleston, South Carolina. He practiced 
dentistry for nearly forty years. In June 1995, Jennie sold their home and moved to a smaller home on Mt. Vernon Drive back in 
her old neighborhood. Both Jennie and Lewis were always very active in First Baptist. They had agreed when first married that 
each would have one night a week out, she for choir and he for Boy Scouts. Lewis was a long-time deacon and a Scoutmaster 
for twenty-five years, and Jennie has been a member of the Sanctuary Choir since joining FBC, often performing solos. The list of 
Jennie's accomplishments seems endless. She was Director of Youth her first two years here. The year before Clyde Patterson 
came to First Baptist she filled in as Director of the Choirs. She is a perennial WMU Group Leader, volunteers in the church office, 
and conducts annual Senior Adult Fashion Shows. She taught her Sunday School Class a couple of years. Jennie was President 
of WMU from 1969-1975 and from 1991-1997, and received the WMU Service Award for 1987-1988. She headed two fund-raiser 
Homes Tours for FBC, as well as the fund-raiser Habitat for Humanity Concert, a memorable event. Last fall she headed the 
Stewardship Campaign and is currently Chairman of the First Baptist 140th Anniversary Celebration scheduled for May 2000. 

Jennie has worked part-time at Belk's as Special Events Coordinator for about twenty years, where she is responsible for "all 
kinds of things" such as fashion shows, luncheons and occasional newspaper articles. She has also coordinated fashion shows 
for the Wilson Woman's Club and other organizations. Jennie served as President of the Junior Woman's Club, as President of 
the Wilson Woman's Club from 1976-1982, as their treasurer 1982-1988 and in various other offices through the years. She is 
Volunteer Co-ordinator for Hope Station and has served many years in the Food Pantry. 

Although she gardens "only when necessary," she loves to read and travel. She has always enjoyed knitting and does other 
needlework occasionally. It has been said, "If you need anything done, just ask Jennie." She is a natural-born leader, organizer 
and promoter who is willing to share her time and talents. One of her talents is getting people to accept tasks. She doesnlt ask if 
you will help; she tells you she has you marked down for a certain job! She stays busy with church and community projects and 
does them very well. Friends say she is energetic, efficient and "just amazing." All agree that Jennie Lee is a very valuable asset 
to First Baptist Church and the City of Wilson. 

Marguerite Lee 
"The Senior Scene" July 2002 

Their dairy supplied milk in the Norfolk, Virginia Beach area until the mid-1 970's and that land, which 
was incorporated in the early fifties is now part of Virginia Beach. She was born on a July 13 in 
Norfolk, Virginia and from about age seven she and her younger brother and sister were raised by her 
father, Floyd James Moore and her paternal grandmother, Mary Jane Tomlinson Moore from Lamm's 
Crossroad in Wilson County. She said that her grandparents started a dairy farm in the late 1890's 
with only a few registered Holstein milk cows. Her grandmother was a wonderful mother who taught 
her by example to love the Lord and to walk in His ways. Before she started school, a neighbor invited 
her to go to Sunday School at a small white wooden Presbyterian country church. She remembers 
being told that Jesus loved her and was her best friend, which impressed her because at that time 
she felt she did not have many friends. She clearly remembers Hannah Jones the teacher, the room 
with small tables, little chairs and pictures of Jesus on the walls. 

During World War II, the young ladies in her church were invited to dances for the servicemen, featuring big band music, at 
various military bases in the Norfolk area. The girls went on the church bus with two women as chaperones and were not allowed 
to date the young men but could invite them to their homes to meet their parents. The men, being far from home, enjoyed the 
girls' families and especially home-cooked meals. Thus, Marguerite Jean Moore met James Leathard Lee in 1943 while he was 
stationed at the Norfolk Naval Training Station. He had joined the Navy in Panama while he was a civilian employee of the U.S. 
Army Air Force in the Canal Zone. His job of estimating parts needed for airplanes would serve as good experience in later life. 

During their short courtship before Jim shipped out, they enjoyed going to movies, riding the streetcar to Virginia Beach and visiting 
the Moores' dairy farm. Jim was sent to the West Coast by train and shipped out of San Diego, California to the island of Guam. 
The Navy Seabees were on board his Fleet Hospital Ship and built the hospital and all other buildings needed on Guam. Jim 
wrote that the island was leveled and nearly bare of trees after being taken from the Japanese. Marguerite and Jim corresponded 
for twenty-six months. During the time he was in the South Pacific, he saw his oldest brother John who was stationed in the area. 
John was discharged before Jim and settled in Atlanta, so Jim sent John some money and asked him to buy a diamond ring for 
Marguerite. When she opened the box on Christmas Day 1945, she was totally surprised and would not put it on. Jim asked her 
to wait for him, but she responded that she could not make that kind of commitment until they knew each other better. However, 
within a few months after his discharge they were married on June 3, 1946. They traveled by tram from Norfolk to Atlanta for their 
honeymoon. Jim's Grandmother Lee held a family picnic at her home in Stone Mountain, Georgia, for the newlyweds and several 

52 




other cousins who had returned from military service in order that Marguerite might meet aunts, uncles and cousins. 

Veterans were given their jobs back after the war and Jim went to the Canal Zone ahead of Marguerite to be reinstated and 
assigned housing on the base. A few days later she left the Atlanta Airport, which was "nothing but a dirt field," to fly to Miami-her 
first airplane flight. The Delta propeller plane took eight hours to fly from Miami to Panama, and she arrived at eight o'clock in the 
morning after seeing the most beautiful sunrise she can remember. Jim and Marguerite lived in the Canal Zone for almost two 
years. 

While home on leave, Jim decided to enroll in the Norfolk division of William and Mary College under the G.I. Bill of Rights for 
Veterans. However, at the urging of Marguerite's father, who had a close friend in Management at the Ford Plant in Norfolk, 
Jim went there for an interview and was hired that day. It was a long interview and Marguerite, waiting outside in the car, could 
not imagine what was happening all that time. Jim said he "fell in love with the automobile business that day" and knew that 
was the path he wanted to follow. Ford Motor Company sent him to Detroit, Michigan for road training. After being a traveling 
representative with Ford for two years, he purchased an interest in a dealership in Windsor, North Carolina, and later purchased 
an interest in another dealership in nearby Plymouth. In 1953 they moved to Elm City and established Lee Motor Company. Jim 
moved the business to Wilson in the mid-sixties and in 1 972 built the present building on U.S. Highway 301 North. The Lee family 
will celebrate fifty years of continuous service to the public in the automobile business in 2003. 

Marguerite and Jim had three children: Peggy Jean, James L. "Jamie," Jr. and John Floyd. Peggy attended Wesleyan College in 
Rocky Mount and married Bill Powell. Together they blessed the Lees with four grandchildren who grew up in First Baptist Church: 
Sarah, Emma, James and Hannah, who just finished her first year at Meredith. Sarah is a graduate of Campbell University, 
Southwestern Seminary (as a day student) and the University of Texas at Arlington (at night), thereby receiving both her Master 
of Arts in Church and Community Ministry from Southwestern and her Master of Science in Social Work from UTA in four years. 
Emma graduated from Meredith, earned her Master's in Education from Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia, and 
teaches English as a Second Language near Winchester. James graduated from N.C. State University in Electrical Engineering, 
is married to the former Melodie Lamm and works with his father in Barnes & Powell Electrical Company in Elm City. The 
Lees' older son, Jamie graduated from the School of Design at N.C. State University, earned his Master's Degree in Business 
Administration at Georgia State University, lives in Atlanta and is self-employed. He frequently visits his Lee relatives in the area. 
As a young child, Jamie asked his Dad what he did in the Navy, and Jim said, "I was Admiral of the Fleet." Later Marguerite was 
playing bridge with his teacher, who told Marguerite that Jamie had in all seriousness repeated what Jim had said. Another time 
Jamie asked his father how he and his mother met, and Jim told him, "Son, it took a war to get your mother and me together." 
John Floyd was only twenty years old and a student at Campbell University when his father went home to be with the Lord in 
1 980. He transferred to Atlantic Christian College (now Barton) and took over his father's business. He was newly married to Lynn 
Turner, daughter of Jayne and Bill Turner. Lynn was a student at Salem College and also transferred to ACC, and together they 
started on a new "venture." Apparently, John had listened to his father when Jim said that every move was a good one and you 
would never know what you could accomplish if you didn't try a new venture. Since Jim died, John has come by Marguerite's for 
a weekly breakfast and conversation unless he is out of town, whereupon he calls her. 

Jim had many interests and liked to try new ventures. In 1957, along with his brother Harold, he and two partners founded 
Thermatics, later Teledyne and now Nexans Berk-Tek in Elm City. Thermatics manufactured electronic wire, much of which was 
used in the assembling of guided missiles for the U.S. Government. Some of Thermatics' wire was used in the space shuttle that 
first landed on the moon. Jim was an avid fisherman and for relaxation enjoyed taking his boat down the Intracoastal Waterway 
to Florida to fish for the "big ones." 

A fond memory for Marguerite is the time they invited Barbara and Bill Bussey and Jean and Cecil Rhodes to travel by boat to 
Charleston with them. Jim was Chairman of the Board of Deacons when he died, and Marguerite says that he left a legacy of 
integrity and love of God and family. She also says that she is a follower rather than a leader. However, after Jim died she served 
on the Board of Deacons and was at one time responsible for getting competitive bids on the first dishwasher and other kitchen 
equipment for our Church to update the old kitchen while Sallie Boswell was hostess. Marguerite has been a member of Baptist 
Women (WMU) more than fifty years, joining when she and Jim were- baptized together at Ludford Memorial Baptist Church in 
Plymouth. She feels she has been richly blessed all her life and especially by being a member of First Baptist Church of Wilson 
since 1971. Her favorite pastimes are Bible study, oil and acrylic painting, reading, needlework, Nascar races, college basketball, 
taking care of two spoiled cats and, last but not least, herb and flower gardening. Marguerite is also in the process of making 
scrapbooks and picture albums for each of her grandchildren. 

Thoughts of Marguerite Lee make one think of a very gracious and hospitable "Southern lady." Friends say that she is a 
delightful person and that it is a pleasure to be in her company because she makes each person feel special. She is very 
talented as can be seen in her paintings and the beautiful garden areas around her home. Her love of her Lord filters through 
her conversation and her Christian faith shines through her daily living. 



53 




Bill and Norma Lewis 
"The Senior Scene" November 1999 

Norma Clyde Howard was born in Raleigh, North Carolina and educated in Raleigh City Schools, at 
Woman's College of the University of North Carolina in Greensboro and Meredith College in Raleigh. 
Although her mother had eight siblings and her father nine, Norma was an only child until she was 
fourteen years old when her brother, Robert, was born. William Francis Lewis was born in Rocky Point, 
Pender County, North Carolina, near Wilmington. He has a twin sister, two other sisters and three 
brothers. He was educated in New Hanover High School in Wilmington and at North Carolina State 
University in Raleigh. 

Bill was a senior at State and Norma a Meredith sophomore when they were introduced by two friends 

on a blind date. Neither ever dated anyone else and they were married two years later on December 

29, 1951. The Korean War was raging and Bill went into the United States Air Force Aviation Cadet 

program in April 1 951 . As a pilot in the Strategic Air Command, he flew KC 97's (refueling tankers) all over the world with tours 

in North Africa, England and Newfoundland until October 1955. During this time Norma and Bill lived in San Antonio, San Angelo 

and Lubbock, Texas; West Palm Beach, Florida and Tucson, Arizona, where their first son, Billy, was born. 

In October 1955 they returned to Bill's birthplace in Pender County where he became involved in farming-growing strawberries 
(both plants and fruit), blueberries and grapes, as well as truck crops corn and soy beans. Three more sons joined the family: 
Keagy, Ed and Kelly. The family became very active in Riley's Creek Baptist Church, which was founded in 1814 by Bill's 
forefathers and other Scotsman kin. Norma had grown up in Edenton Street Methodist Church of Raleigh, and her brother said 
that he didn't think she would ever become a Baptist because she was too afraid of water! 

For thirty-six years they lived in Rocky Point and participated in school, church, and civic affairs. Norma was church organist for 
twenty-three years, a Sunday School teacher, the first woman deacon and Woman's Missionary Union Director at Riley's Creek 
Church. She served as WMU Director for the Wilmington Baptist Association. Norma was a member of the North Carolina WMU 
Board and served as First Vice-President of the North Carolina WMU for four years. Her friends in the Raleigh office called Bill 
"Mr. WMU." In the days before interstate Highway 40, she sometimes travelled from Rocky Point to Raleigh twice a week, using 
the quickest short-cuts in two hours and eleven minutes. 

Bill served as a Sunday School teacher, Sunday School Director and as Chairman of the Deacon Board for many years. He 
was Chairman of the Building Committee when Riley's Creek Church built a new sanctuary, education building, and parsonage. 
He was elected as President of the Parent Teachers Association and the Ruritan Club. Bill loved flying so much he bought an 
airplane, later replacing it with another ... and then another. Although he had flown all over the world earlier, he now flew only in 
the United States. Sadly, he had to give up flying in 1984 after medication for rheumatoid arthritis prohibited it. 

Eldest son, Billy, received his education at N.C. State University and is president and manager of Wilson Marine Sales. He is 
married to the former Perri Moore who works at IBM and they make their home in Zebulon. Keagy, a Downs Syndrome person, 
lives in a group home in Wilmington and works for Hampton Inn. Ed, general manager of Energy Efficient Housing in Greenville, 
graduated from University of North Carolina at Wilmington and lives in Wilson with his wife, Kit, and two sons Edward "Bankston" 
(age 6) and Francis "Curran" (age 2). Kelly also graduated from UNCW, is a Marine Biologist and spends his time on research 
boats in Alaska, Bering Sea and the Aleutians. He is presently south of Mexico in the Western Gulf. Bill sold his Pender County 
businesses, so they decided to "retire" and move. Norma wanted to live in Beaufort because of the quiet beauty of a slow- 
paced seaside town and her fond memories of childhood visits to relatives' homes. However, Bill decided to grow strawberries 
commercially and needed to be nearer major highways and airports. Norma also had relatives in Wilson and the surrounding 
area, and they had bought Wilson Marine Sales in 1987; therefore, in March 1991 they chose to move to Wilson. 

Growing strawberries is a full-time job. In early September, Bill gets the land in Wilson ready. In mid-September, they put methyl 
bromide down with black plastic that has irrigation systems underneath and overhead. During the fall, Bill goes to Quebec, 
Canada and grows plants there that are shipped from California. When ready, the plants are loaded on refrigerated trucks and 
sent to Florida, stopping to unload some at Wilson Marine and they are planted that same day. The Canadian plants are also 
shipped to other countries. The plants are planted the first week in October and have to be watered at least eleven days after they 
are set out, where they will grow until it gets cold. After the plants begin to bloom in March or early April they have to be watched 
very carefully because a frost will kill the blooms. In that case the plants have to be irrigated and frozen in order to preserve them. 
Bill has spent as many as fourteen nights checking thermometers throughout the fields. The berries are ready to be picked by the 
end of April and the season lasts until the first week of June unless it gets too hot. Afterwards, the old plants have to be moved 
off, the plastic goes to the landfill and the land is prepared for growing grain crops until early September when they are plowed 
under and the cycle begins again. Being a private consultant in the strawberry growing industry, Bill regularly travels to India, 
United Arab Emirates and Spain, but he has also traveled to Greece, England, Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru and Holland. He has had 
many unusual experiences across the world. He rode camels in India. While in Quito, Ecuador, he was on the fifth floor of a hotel 
and was awakened by a 6.5 earthquake-one of the villages destroyed was where he had just worked for three days. In the Rome 

54 



International Airport he was waiting to board a flight for Athens, Greece when terrorists came in and shot a number of people in the 
terminal. On a flight from Frankfurt, Germany to Athens, terrorists shot and killed three Americans; Bill had been on the same flight 
two days earlier. Another time he was landing at Dubai, United Arab Emirates, when officials told waiting family members that an 
American naval vessel had just shot down (mistakenly) an Iranian plane over the Persian Gulf. They quickly got all Americans out 
of the Dubai terminal and it became an international incident. All these episodes prompted a neighbor to say that he was going to 
alert the U.S. State Department whenever Bill was traveling out of the country so they would be prepared for trouble! Who says 
that a Pender County farmer doesn't lead an exciting life? 

Norma and Bill joined First Baptist Church soon after moving to Wilson. She taught the Ruth Sunday School Class and played 
piano for Sallie Boswell's Sunday School Class monthly birthday parties at Triangle East Nursing Home. In her WMU Circle 
Groups she served as Prayer Chairman and Mission Study Chairman. With Jennie Lee as President, Norma served as Secretary- 
Treasurer of the WMU and, along with her regular duties handled the finances for Habitat for Humanity when our Church was 
involved. She served as Secretary of the Deacon Board for three years of her four-year term. Norma and Bill have chaired the 
Worship Committee and the Communion Committee, and Bill has served on the Spanish Liaison Committee. 

Norma's hobbies are gardening, reading and needlework. She enjoys her grandsons and attends Bankston's soccer games. She 
has a wonderful collection of almost one hundred Santa Clauses, as well as many antiques, portraits and other family treasures. 
Bill spends his rare spare time "growing things," birding and traveling. Friends describe the Lewises as friendly, caring and 
dependable, talented and energetic, intellectual and innovative. They are indeed a special blessing to their friends, neighbors and 
our First Baptist Church family. (Bill 3/12/04) 

Mary Ezzell Liggon 
"The Senior Scene" November 1994 

Mary Ezzell was born on October 5, 1907, in Appalachia, Virginia, where her father worked on the 
railroad. She was only a year old when the family moved to Wilson, and she has lived in Wilson 
County ever since. She joined First Baptist Church when she was 12 years old while Dr. Mercer was 
pastor. 

She met her husband, "Charlie" Liggon, at a friend's house and went with him five or six years before 
being married in First Baptist on the comer of Nash and Pine Streets. Born to this union was one 
son, Charles E., Jr., "Ned," who died in 1978. However, Mary's eyes light up when she names her 
two grandchildren, Charles E., Ill, "Charlie" and Catherine Liggon Segars. And then, with a big smile 
and a lilt in her voice, she tells of her two great-grandchildren: 12 year-old Charles E., IV, "Ned," a 
student at Toisnot Middle School, and six-year-old Leigh Segars, a kindergartner at Wilson Christian. 

Mary loved the outdoors and had always grown cut flowers, which she enjoyed giving to friends and 
neighbors, including Katie Reedy and Hattie Wooten. Gradually, other people began to come and 
want to buy bunches of flowers. Mothers wanted corsages made for their little girls at Easter, and people wanted Christmas and 
funeral flowers. As she sold more and more plants, other florists demanded she be licensed. And so Five Points Nursery and 
Floral Company was born while her son was still quite young. 

Mary's husband worked at Hackney Body Works, but with the florist business flourishing, Mary needed more help and convinced 
Charlie to quit his job and work with her full time at the nursery. After his death, she continued in the business, with her son "Ned" 
working in his father's place. Upon her son's death in 1 978, her grandson, Charlie, relocated to Wilson to join her in running the 
business until 1985. Mary was in the floral business a total of 45 years. 

People carne from "all around" to order her floral arrangements. It was nothing for her to work until the wee hours of the morning 
to see that her customers received quality work. Their wishes were as important to her as to them. Even she admitted that she 
"worked night and day and enjoyed every minute of it." She was described as very talented and having a flair for what was 
beautiful. After her husband died, Mary became active in Sunday School, Church and WMU. She is very appreciative of family 
and friends like Blanche Wyatt who drove and picked her up for Wednesday night suppers and the other services. Mr. Bussey 
once asked her if she had her life to live over again, whether she would do anything differently. Her reply was that she would have 
made time to do more things for other people. 

By the time the business closed, Mary had quite a collection of African violets. She has such a generous heart, her conservative 
husband once accused her of "giving everything away." So, she gave her violets away to friends and moved into her apartment 
at Senior Care Village when it was new. She says it is a good place to live. The only thing that would make her happier would 
be if she could walk and tend plants outside her door. Until arthritis intervened, her hobbies were crocheting and - you guessed 
it - growing flowers! Since retiring, she has continued to keep up with her friends and do nice things for them. 

55 




After her grandson's separation from his wife, she kept her great-grandson, Ned, almost full time while his mother worked. These 
were the years in which a very close bond was formed between the two of them. Ned's favorite colors when he was young were 
purple, white and blue. When Ned was five, Mary crocheted a purple, white and blue afghan just for him. He is so fond of it, he 
still uses it. More recently, when Ned was assigned to write an essay on "My Favorite Person," he chose to write about his great- 
grandmother. Mary did not let the above-mentioned separation break the loving relationship she had with her ex-granddaughter- 
in-law, who visits often to offer help. 

For 12 years, Mary had a live-in companion, a Pomeranian named "Mickey"; the family has always been fond of dogs. As is the 
case in so many close relationships, Mary and Mickey could "talk" with each other and understand each other explicitly. Mary 
is cheerful and has a good sense of humor - she often laughs at herself. Even though she is in constant pain, she does not 
complain. She is very appreciative of little things. No matter how small the deed, little things are very meaningful to her. Mary has 
a very positive attitude, making others feel good just to be around her. She loves and enjoys people, and it shows. She knows no 
strangers - just new friends. Friends of long ago and Senior Care Village friends drop in often to visit. The visitors are the ones 
who receive the blessing of lifted spirits. Because of the love and warmth she gives to everyone, love and warmth are returned to 
her many times over. Mary Liggon is indeed a beautiful lady. (5/28/97) 

Mickey and Thyra Little 
"The Senior Scene" January 1997 

She says they were "depression babies," both born in Saratoga, NC. He was born September 29, 
1930, the middle child of seven, four boys and three girls. She was born less than a year later on 
July 22, the only girl after three boys. Both their fathers farmed but had other occupations as well. His 
father ran a country store and hers owned a paving contractor company. 

Because their families were neighbors, they "always knew each other." In high school he played 
basketball, football, baseball and drove the school bus which she rode. She played softball, basketball 
and was head cheerleader when not playing. In the Wilson County 4-H Club, he was King and she 
was Queen. During their senior year, each won the award for outstanding athlete. In the senior play, 
his character asked her character to marry him, but she turned him down. They entered Atlantic 
Christian College in Wilson in the fall of 1 949. They were married on December 1 8th of the same year 
in the Saratoga Christian Church. On the second night of their marriage, they attended an NC State 
basketball game in Raleigh, coached by Everette Case. In those days, that was a real thrill, a rare 
privilege and a "big deal." 

James Douglas "Mickey" Little was the son of Lee and Pearl Little. Thyra Royal Shackelford was the daughter of Paul and Delphia 
Shackelford. Now that they were married, Mickey went to work for the State and Thyra worked at Leder Brothers and at the Sears 
Roebuck order office. They went to night school and he took courses at NC State College. In 1 951 , Mickey went to work for Jones 
Brothers Construction Company and became a good friend of Gordon "Boney" Jones, who asked him to help with the Explorer 
Scouts at First Baptist Church. Those years are remembered as very rewarding years. Thyra and Mickey were still attending 
their home churches, but when their daughter Debra was two, they started coming to First Baptist. Mickey taught Sunday School 
and eventually served as Department Superintendent (Director), Deacon and Trustee, as well as serving on many committees, 
including the Long-Range Planning Committee. 

Thyra and Mickey were blessed with four daughters. The eldest, Debra, married Wilton Howell Bunn, Jr., and both teach at 
Garner Middle School. Their three children are Courtney, 16, Wil, 14; and James Douglas, eight, named for Mickey. Pat Little 
works at Diversified Opportunities and lives at home. Mickey was the founder of Diversified Opportunities. Beverly Little Edwards 
is the wife of Stephen, who works at Glaxo-Welcome at Research Triangle. Beverly is a homemaker for Stephen and their two 
children, Christopher, eight, and Nicholas, four. Paula Jane Little is a Recreational Therapist Western Center for the Handicapped 
at Morganton. 

In 1962, Mickey went into the construction business for himself. Many buildings in the Triangle and the eastern part of the state 
were built by his company. Mickey served in many civic organizations. In 1966, he was named Outstanding Young Man of the 
Year by the Wilson Jaycees. He served 12 years under three governors as Chairman of the NC Zoological Authority. During the 
same 12 years, he also served as State Treasurer, State President and National Trustee for Cystic Fibrosis. He was President 
of the first Handicapped School in Wilson. He built the building, started the satellite for Tri-county Industries and served as its 
president. This organization later became Diversified Opportunities. 

Thyra and Mickey have done a lot of traveling but their favorite place is their home on the Neuse River at Oriental. Swimming and 
fishing the nets with their grandchildren bring great joy to them. Last year, Mickey gave Thyra a jet Ski! Two years ago, Mickey 
decided to take the two oldest grandchildren on an educational trip across the United States. Thyra said she had been there and 
done that and did not want to go, so she stayed home and kept James Douglas. Mickey, Debra, Courtney (who was 14) and Wil 

56 




(who was 12) toured by van. They traveled over 8,000 miles in five weeks and saw many historical places. When they returned, 
Mickey scribbled the following on a scrap of paper: 

I HAVE 

I have smelled the salt spray from the Pacific. I have known a mother's love. 

I have seen Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt watching over the Dakotas. 

I have felt a daughter's trust and admiration. 

I have heard the songs on the muddy Mississippi. I have seen the golden grain of the heartlands. 

I have gazed upon the wonders of the Golden Gate Bridge. 

I have seen the most vicious of all animals in the blacktop jungles of Chicago. 

I have heard the newborn baby cry. 

I have seen the salamander on the great desert. I have known the trust of a friend. 

I have walked among the creepy crawlers of the Everglades. 

I have seen Lady Liberty watching over the Hudson and Abe Lincoln down the Reflecting Pool. 

I have known compassion and forgiving love from a helpmate. 

I have seen the "smoke" over the Great Smokies. 

I have known a grandchild's wet-nose kiss. 

I have. Oh, yes. I have! 

Commenting on the above, Thyra says, "That says it all!" 

Mike and Faye Maclaga 
"The Senior Scene" December 1998 

MEET THE CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF DEACONS AND HIS WIFE! They are not yet age- 
qualified to be Earth Angels (Senior Adults of First Baptist). Michael Maclaga and his wife, Faye 
Jenkins Maclaga, were both born in 1944, he in Wilson County and she in Asheville, where she 
lived until she was two years old. Her family then lived in several places in Eastern North Carolina 
and moved to Wilson when she was a teenager. Mike attended St. Therese Catholic School through 
eighth grade. They both attended Charles L. Coon High School in ninth grade and were in the first 
class to attend Ralph L. Fike High School in the tenth grade. Faye and Mike had some classes 
together and one year she invited him to a Sadie Hawkins' Dance. They dated their senior year 
and throughout college. Faye received her Bachelor of Arts honors degree in English with minors in 
Education and History from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in January, 1966. She 
and Mike were married that same month while he was a senior at Atlantic Christian College. She 
taught English at Fike and he taught Math at Charles L. Coon. 

Mike and Faye had decided they should go to the same church. Faye attended the Catholic Church with Mike for a while but 
was not happy there; Mike attended First Baptist with Faye, liked it, enjoyed Mr. Bussey and was re-baptized soon after they 
were married. They earned their Master's Degrees from East Carolina University in Greenville — his in Counseling and hers in 
Education with emphasis in English. Their son, John, was born in 1972; another son, Brian was born in 1977. The boys were 
brought up in First Baptist and Mike is convinced "that the example that was set for them by members of this church has been a 
primary influence in the way they have lived their lives." John and his wife, Karen, live and work in Raleigh. John is an electrical 
engineer with Carolina Power and Light. He hopes to earn his Master's Degree in Management in another year. Brian is a senior 
at N. C. State, majoring in Textile Materials Science. 

After six years, Mike stopped teaching and became personnel manager at two different companies, but when asked to move to 
South Carolina, chose to become a counselor at Wilson County Technical Institute. He later taught a vocational class for several 
years; and in 1984, he became a counselor at Beddingfield High School, the position he currently holds. In 1978, Faye became 
Lead Instructor in English at Wilson County Technical Institute, performing many administrative duties. In 1985, she returned 
to full-time teaching as English Instructor at Wilson Tech, a position she still holds. In 1995, she was one of two dozen English 
instructors in North Carolina chosen to revise English courses in the statewide semester conversion. Faye has been involved 
in continuing education throughout her career, attending the Institute for Readers Theatre Workshop in London and receiving 
graduate credits in Theatre/Speech from the University of Southern Maine just this year. 

Mike likes to fish and hunt (especially turkey and deer). He writes a column for the Saturday Wilson Daily Times about hunting 
and fishing. Faye says Mike is highly competitive in any kind of card game, board game, chess, etc. Games were a favorite family 
pastime. Mike and Faye like to play bridge and travel. Faye enjoys reading, the Internet and e-mail, sewing, children and helping 
people learn. 

Faye and her mother, Charlene Jenkins, joined First Baptist in January, 1959. Faye's maternal grandmother, Pauline Sluder, also 

57 




attended First Baptist Church whenever possible until her death. The Maclagas have always been involved in church activities. 
Mike served on numerous committees before and after becoming a deacon, was Adult III Sunday School Director and is now on 
the men's cooking team. Faye has also served on many committees, was a Sunday School teacher, worked in the nursery and 
on the Youth Advisory Council. She and Diane Johnson have been co-directors in the Children's Division of Sunday School. 

Mike has been active in the Jaycees, a Wide-Awake Kiwanis President and several other offices. He has been Chairman of the 
Planning and Zoning Board for the City of Wilson and is now a Boy Scout Merit Badge Counselor in Fishing. Faye has been 
very involved with professional educational organizations. She helped organize PAGE (Parents for the Advancement of Gifted 
Education). She is a member of Friends of the Library at Barton College, as well as the Wilson County Public Library. 

Mike and Faye MacLaga are very special leaders — friendly, caring, willing, faithful, knowledgeable, and efficient people who 
constantly strive to make our church and community a better place. We are truly blessed to have them in our midst. 

"When you are born, you cry and people rejoice. Live your life so that when you die, you rejoice and people cry." Quoted by Mike 
in November 1997 Senior Scene. (Mike 2/18/03) 




Ann Macy 
"The Senior Scene" February 1997 

Annie Selby Macy was born on July 28, 1911, in Engelhard, Hyde County, North Carolina, to 
Farnsworth and Elizabeth Thompson Selby. She was next to the oldest of ten children, five boys 
and five girls, including twins, a boy and girl. Her father was a farmer and fisherman, and her mother 
was a homemaker and seamstress. She taught Ann to sew at an early age. Ann helped her mother 
with the younger children while the others worked in the fields. After graduating from Engelhard High 
School, she went into nurses' training at McCain Sanatorium near Raeford for two years. While there, 
she met Dr. Herman Easom. For third-year surgical training, she was affiliated with a hospital near 
Roanoke Rapids. She received her Registered Nurse degree after taking the State Boards and did 
private duty nursing in Henderson for a time. 

In 1941, she went to work on the surgical floor in the Western Sanatorium in Black Mountain. There 
she met her future husband, Vance Macy, who worked in the X-ray Department Laboratory. In the 
beginning, they did not date often-she was on night duty. On their first date, they went to Church and on their second date they 
went to prayer meeting. Ann applied to work in the new Sanatorium in Wilson in order to be nearer her family in Hyde County. 
Vance first said he had not lost anything in Wilson County, but later changed his mind and applied also. Both were transferred 
when Eastern North Carolina Sanatorium opened January 1 , 1 943. When they were leaving Black Mountain, Vance said to Ann, 
"Put your things in the back seat and you can ride with me." She did. 

At ENCS Ann was in charge of Central Supply and the Operating Room, and Vance was in charge of X-ray and the Lab. Her 
quarters were on first floor with other nurses. He lived on second floor with the doctors. They ate together frequently and only 
dated regularly about three months before being married on June 26, 1943. Traditionally, hospital personnel were called by their 
last names, so she always called him "Macy." Others they worked with were the Easoms, Florence Pittman, Ike McAnulty and C. 
C. Moss. Ann retired in 1976 and Vance retired in 1977. Sadly, he died in 1978 at age 62. 

Ann and Vance had two children, Becky Macy Morris, who worked at Branch Banking & Trust Company in Wilson before she died 
in 1994, and Vance, Jr., who lives in Raleigh. Ann has two grandchildren, Susan Morris, 29, of Charleston, South Carolina, and 
Jilly Macy, 11, who lives in Raleigh. 

Ann's hobbies are sewing, candlewicking, reading and working in her yard with flowers and tomato plants. Of 30 squares in the 
candlewick bedspread at the Christmas Auction in December, Ann made 26 squares. For years, she has sewn Raggedy Ann and 
Raggedy Andy dolls of all sizes. She is still recovering from three broken vertebrae, but very anxious to be able to return to her 
sewing machine to make more dolls. 

One of Ann's greatest blessings is a dear friend named Hilda Swan, who often visited Senior Adult luncheons with Ann. Hilda and 
her husband moved to Wilson from Evansville, Indiana. They made their home across the street from Ann for five years before 
moving back to Indiana. While neighbors, Ann and Hilda became very close friends. Hilda and her husband had already moved 
back to Indiana when Ann's back was at its worst, but when Hilda visited and saw how much pain Ann was suffering, Hilda insisted 
that Ann return to Indiana with them and recuperate there. Ann stayed four weeks and returned home much improved. Ann has 
the highest praise for Hilda and feels they are "family" more so than "friends." Ann is very much looking forward to Hilda's visit 
this spring. 



Ann became a member of First Baptist in December, 1945. She used to be on one of the Wednesday night cooking teams. She 

58 




is active in Wednesday afternoon Sewing Group and a member of WMU Group III. Ann Macy is a diminutive and beautiful, quiet 
and humble, talented and busy, loving and caring, faithful and dedicated Christian — a blessing to all who know her. (10/18/04) 

Bill and Barbara Mercer 
"The Senior Scene" November 1993 

With that good sense of humor he still has, he would crack jokes and talk in the Study Hall of Rock 
Ridge High School. She would get caught laughing at his jokes and have to stay in at lunch time! 
(perhaps being born on Friday, the 13th, had something to do with that.) They still claim to have been 
childhood sweethearts. 

After her graduation, they dated steadily for almost a year while she was in nurses' training and he 
was in training with Colonial Stores in Rocky Mount. He was then sent to Raleigh at the opening of 
the Cameron Village Store. When he proposed, she chose marriage over continuing her training 
since nursing students were not allowed to be married at that time. They were married a week before 
Christmas, 1949, and will soon celebrate 44 years of happiness together. 

One morning she saw his draft notice in the mail but held it back and did not give it to him at lunch 
time. She was afraid he would be too upset driving the car and in danger of an accident, as well as too 
preoccupied to do his job that afternoon. Instead, she prepared his favorite supper and presented the notice to him after he was 
relaxed. He decided to join the Air Force for a four-year tour of duty. She went back home to live with her mother while he took 
his basic training in San Antonio. She joined him after he was sent to Denver. By courtesy of the U.S. Air Force, they also lived in 
Washington, D.C., and Winter Park, Florida ("next door" to Orlando Air Force Base), until his discharge. They moved to Raleigh 
again, where he went to work for the NC Department of Labor. 

She worked with the Department of Motor Vehicles. In December, 1958, he was sent to open a field station in Wilson. They 
moved on a snowy day to a house with a newly landscaped yard. She continued her cherished position of homemaker, mother to 
Joey and later, to Steve. He was later employed by the U.S. Department of Labor and retired after more than 31 years and many 
awards, but NOT to a rocking chair. He is currently President of Mercer and Mercer, Inc., a labor law consulting firm, working with 
son Steve, a draftsman and computer consultant. Joey works at Blue Cross in Durham. 

Barbara and Bill Mercer joined First Baptist in June, 1959, where both became very active in every facet of the Church. She 
taught Sunday School and served on many committees, including the Chancel and Baptistery Committees. She is a member of 
the Fidelis Class. Bill has been a Deacon for many years and has served on countless committees. He is currently President of 
the Senior Adult Council as well as the Brotherhood, and Director of Adult V Sunday School Department. He is a member of the 
Paraclete-Berean Class and on the Grounds and Landscaping Committees. Barbara and Bill both devoted many years to Cub 
Scout Pack 8 of this church. Many positions were held and many awards received, the most notable of which for Barbara were 
the Award of Merit and the Silver Beaver Award. Bill also received the Silver Beaver, as well as the Good Shepherd Award. 

Barbara has been a member of the Extension Homemakers 33 years. She received the Woman of the Year Award, the Volunteer 
Extension Education Award and the A&P Leadership Award. She was also a volunteer in the schools her children attended. She 
enjoys quilting, knitting and crocheting, although her favorite pastime is grandmothering. Bill is a past member of the Optimist 
Club. He is a Certified Master Gardener of the North Carolina Extension Service, having taken 40 hours' class training and given 
40 hours' public service through the Agriculture Center. He helps conduct plant clinics, compost demonstrations, etc. He finds 
time to help care for three or four gardens: his own, that of Barbara's mother, Rachel Boykin (also a First Baptist member), a 
garden he shared with Horace Ricks, and occasionally Miss Mollie's garden at Camp Charles. 

Bill is a Troop 8 Committeeman and on the Executive Board of East Carolina Council BSA. He is past President of Camp Charles 
Management Commission. He is on the Advisory Council of the Extension Service of Wilson County and the Executive Board 
of Keep America Beautiful. In his spare time (!), Bill enjoys growing flowers, fishing, woodworking 
and granddfathering. Barbara and Bill have five grandchildren: Joel, 12; Andrew, 9; Katherine, 6; 
Stephanie, 4; and Christopher, 4 months. Fortunately, their parents live in nearby Durham and Rocky 
Mount. Barbara and Bill, we salute you for all you are and all you do. We are blessed to have you at 
First Baptist. 

Louis B. and Evelyn Meyer 
"The Senior Scene" February 1999 

While his father was Commander of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)in Marion, North Carolina, 
his mother traveled to the mountains of western North Carolina to visit her husband. Thus, it happened 

59 




that Louis B. Meyer, Jr. was born in Marion away from the family home in Enfield, where mother and baby returned as soon as 
she was able. Little did Louis, Sr. and Beulah Smith Meyer realize all their son would achieve. Louis, Jr. was the third of four 
children, with an older brother and sister and a younger brother. Louis was reared in Enfield where he attended public schools 
and subsequently graduated from Wake Forest College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1955. 

While Louis was stationed at Fort McClellan, Alabama, he went into an ice cream shop in Oxford near Anniston and there met 
his future wife, Evelyn Spradlin. The older of two daughters, Evelyn was born in Anniston to Henry and Ida Mae Pond Spradlin 
and graduated from Alabama College for Women. Evelyn and Louis dated about a year and were married December 29, 1956. 

In 1960 Louis graduated from Wake Forest University School of Law with a Juris Doctor degree and later he received his Master 
of Laws degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by Campbell 
University in 1989. Other awards include the Iredell Award from the Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity and the Law and Order Award 
from the Federalist Society of Campbell University School of Law. He also attended Appellate Judges Seminars at New York 
University Law School in 1981 and 1988. Upon graduation from Wake Forest Law School, he served as law clerk to the late Chief 
Justice R. Hunt Parker of the North Carolina Supreme Court, and, thereafter, served as a Special Agent of the Federal Bureau of 
Investigation in Houston, Texas. Between his Army stations and the FBI assignments, he and/or his family moved eight times in 
six years. Evelyn and Louis came to Wilson in 1962 (the same month Barbara and Bill Bussey accepted the call to First Baptist) 
and joined our church in early 1963. Besides teaching Sunday School for over twenty-five years, Louis has served on the Board 
of Deacons and the Board of Trustees. 

First Baptist Sunday School teachers may remember the two sons and daughter of Evelyn and Louis Meyer. Louis, III is a partner 
in the law firm of Poyner and Spruill in Raleigh and last year married Staci Tolliver, an Assistant Attorney General. Shannon is 
married to Philip Cave and they live in New York City where he is with J. P. Morgan. Shannon is enjoying life as homemaker and 
mother of Philip, Jr., two and one half years old. Adam, the youngest son is single and employed by St. Paul's Marine Insurance 
in Cincinnati, Ohio. 

Evelyn's father, Henry Spradlin, enjoyed attending Sunday School and semor adult activities at First Baptist Church while living 
in Wilson a few years before his death in 1992. A favorite family memory is when Louis, III was a Boy Scout and father and son 
went to Troop 8's five-day fifty-mile hike along the Appalachian Trail. Other leaders were Lewis Lee, Scoutmaster; Bill Mercer, Bob 
Youngblood, A. J. Hayes and Bill Batchelor. With so much expertise among the leaders (including a lawyer, a dentist, a surgeon 
and Chief of Police) they were obviously prepared for any emergency. 

Before moving to Wilson, Evelyn taught kindergarten in Alabama., Georgia, Winston-Salem, Raleigh and several schools in Nash 
and Wilson counties. She retired from teaching last June and misses it very much. She was a leader of Cub Scouts and Brownie 
Scouts, enjoys reading and playing bridge, and credits Jane Stout with encouraging her to take up golf again after twenty-five 
years. 

Louis prefers fishing when he can find the time. He has passed his love of fishing on to his children and their spouses, who get 
together at the beach for family vacations. He and some of his judge and lawyer friends call themselves the 'Deacon Fishing 
Bunch" and twice a year get together to fish and, no doubt, swap fish tales. 

For eighteen years, Louis practiced law with the firm of Lucas, Rand, Rose, Meyer, Jones and Orcutt. He is a past president of 
the Wilson County and Seventh Judicial District Bar Associations and has served as Vice President of the North Carolina Bar 
Association. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Wake Forest University and a past member of its Law School Board of 
Visitors. 

While practicing law here, he was active in civic affairs. He served as Adjunct Professor of Business Law at Atlantic Christian 
College for four years and as City Attorney for his law firm for fifteen years. He also chaired the local American Red Cross Chapter 
for a time. Prior to judicial service, he served as Democratic Chairman of his Precinct, of Wilson County and of the Second 
Congressional District, as well as on the North Carolina State Executive Committee. 

Louis was appointed an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of North Carolina and served from 1981 through 1994, chairing 
several committees and serving on many. He has quite an impressive list of legal writings and has spoken numerous times 
to various bar associations, law enforcement groups, civic clubs, law schools and other school groups, plaintiffs' and defense 
attorneys' groups, educational programs, etc. In 1995, he was appointed Special Superior Court Judge and now serves in that 
capacity. 

Louis is first and foremost a true Christian in everyday life. He has been described as a prince of a fellow, a fair-minded man 
with a good sense of humor, a walking book of knowledge and common sense and an excellent lawyer and judge with much 
compassion. Our deacons depend heavily upon his advice in Constitution and By-Law matters. Upon hearing some of his 
prayers, it has been said he would have made a good preacher. We are most appreciative of his outstanding services to all the 
people of North Carolina, not just our church and our community. (Louis 12/25/99) 

60 




Dan and Sherron Moore 
"The Senior Scene" December 2002 

As a student at Meredith College in Raleigh, she took some summer school courses at Atlantic 
Christian College in Wilson when he was a full-time student there, but they did not meet. 

She was born in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, on April 3, 1 943 to Luther Holton and Adelle Winstead 
Boyd. An only child, she has always been very close to her parents. Her father was a police officer 
in Rocky Mount, but the family moved to Wilson when she was eight years old because of his 
employment with Burlington Industries. She graduated from Fike High School, received her Bachelor 
of Arts degree at Meredith College and her Master's in Education at East Carolina University. After 
graduating from Meredith in mid-year, she taught school in Morganton for half a year. She then 
taught at Vinson-Bynum School in Wilson for several years before moving to Wilmington, where she 
taught eighth grade at M. C. S. Noble Middle School. 

Having two older sisters, he was born May 19, 1941 to William Hybert and Lina Harrell Moore of Harrells in Sampson County, 
North Carolina. He graduated from H. S. Franklin High School in Harrells, earned his Bachelor of Science at Atlantic Christian 
College and his Master's in Education at William and Mary College in Williamsburg, Virginia. He taught school in Virginia Beach 
for six years. He became an Education Administrator and was an Assistant Principal at M. C. S. Noble Middle School in 1975 
when she became a teacher there. After they started dating, she transferred to Chestnut Elementary School and later taught at 
D. C. Virgo Middle School and lastly at Pine Valley Elementary School. Sherron Winstead Boyd married William Daniel Moore on 
December 29, 1979. He found out the night they married that it was also his parents' anniversary. 

Their best friends, Robert "Bob" and Peggy Moore from Wilmington attended their wedding and discovered that the Reverend 
William R. Bussey, who was officiating at Dan and Sherron's wedding, was the same minister who married Bob and Peggy in 
Chester, South Carolina. Dan was Assistant Principal to Bob who was Principal of Noble School. Needless to say, there was some 
friendly confusion between the two Mr. Moores. 

Sherron retired from teaching in 1997 and after Dan retired in 1998, they moved to Wilson to be near Sherron's widowed mother. 
They joined First Baptist Church before the year's end and soon became very actively involved in multiple activities of the Church. 
Sherron is WMU Baptist Women representative for South Roanoke Association. She has been a Group Leader and has worked 
in the After School Program. She provides transportation for others to and from WMU meetings and conducts her own card 
ministry. Dan is active in Baptist Men and is Chairman of the Handyman Committee. Besides repair jobs for those members of 
our church who need them, he has worked on a Habitat for Humanity house, as well as houses in Princeton near Tarboro to help 
flood victims. He is an usher and is on the Memorial and Grounds Committees. Both Dan and Sherron serve as Church Greeters 
one month during the year and serve together on the Flower Committee. 

Dan grew up on a farm and when things needed repairs; his father taught Dan how to do many kinds of handyman jobs. He is 
an excellent carpenter, plumber, painter and capable of making most small repairs. Because his school was a nine-month job, he 
gained experience working for various contractors during summer months. 

Robert William Moore, Dan's son by his first wife who died of an aneurysm, works on a four-acre farm in Harrells, carrying on his 
grandfather's farming tradition. 

Dan and Sherron are presently very much involved in caring for their parents. Dan's mother is in a nursing home and his father 
now lives alone. Dan and his two sisters, who live near their father, share in his care. Dan usually stays with his father two or three 
days a week, does necessary chores, takes him to visit his wife and to doctors' appointments. He feels that his parents cared for 
him for many years, and it is only right for him to help care for them now. 

Sherron's mother, Adelle Boyd of First Baptist, is not well and Sherron provides as much tender loving care as possible, sometimes 
staying with Adelle for weeks at a time. 

Dan says of Sherron that she is very dedicated, very care-giving to everyone, not just their parents. He says that she gives 110% 
and leaves no job undone in any undertaking. Sherron would readily admit that these two sentences exactly describe Dan. They 
work well together, they work well separately; they are a good match. 

Sherron's favorite pastimes are reading, traveling and decorating. She has a real talent for the latter, as seen in their beautiful 
Raleigh Road home. Dan enjoys doing handyman repairs and odd jobs. He would enjoy playing golf more than the rare times he 
has the opportunity. Dan and Sherron Moore spend all their volunteer time at First Baptist Church, which is very fortunate indeed 
to be the benefactor of their faithful dedication to God's work. 

61 



Kitty Moore 
"The Senior Scene" May 2002 




She was born in Winslow, Indiana and lived there until she was thirteen, but is a North Carolinian 
at heart. She took secretarial courses at Nash and Wilson Technical Schools and was employed by 
Wilson County Schools for twenty-three years. Through the years she has taken many other courses 
at Wilson Tech, including Shorthand, Comprehensive English and for fun, Quilting and Painting. 
Learning is one of her favorite pastimes. 

Four years ago she retired as Financial Secretary at Fike High School, but has since become a 
substitute teacher practically full time and loves it. She says that she has substituted in everything, 
from Auto Tech to Calculus. Sometimes she is called the night before for the next day's work and 
sometimes at 6:00 am to work that day. She works most of the time at Fike and knows all the teachers 
and probably the majority of the students. 

Her parents were from Anson County, North Carolina; her mother was a nurse and her father a railroad 
engineer until the Great Depression. Because there was no work, they moved to Pennsylvania and 
her father became a farmer. They later moved to Winslow, Indiana, a small farming and coal mining 

community. People would call her mother to treat illnesses and deliver babies rather than going to a doctor. Her mother would 

take her in a horse-driven buggy to make house calls. 

The fifth of seven children, Kitty Knight Allen was born on a January 1 9 to Pearl and Minnie Allen. One of her brothers was killed 
in World War II and there are one brother and four sisters remaining. They celebrated Easter together in the Concord home of 
their deceased parents, now the home of her brother. 

While a student at Granite Quarry High School near Salisbury, Kitty visited an aunt who lived in Crescent (now North Myrtle) 
Beach, South Carolina and worked that summer at the Crescent Beach Grill across from the only hotel. Several students from 
Pfeiffer College also had summer jobs there that year and it was not long until Kitty met her future husband, Wistar Moore. 

She graduated from high school in 1949 and worked briefly for Southern Bell in Charlotte. She and Wistar, known as "Butch," 
began dating that summer at the beach. They went together two years before being married in December 1949 when she was 
eighteen. Butch was employed at Radio Station WVOT (Wilson Voice of Tobaccoland) and they established their first home in 
Wilson. 

Kitty and Butch had three children: Tim is now a heart surgeon in Orlando, Florida. Phillip is employed by Smithfield Foods and 
specializes in International Taxes. He is married to the former Cynthia Clark and they make their home in Newport News, Virginia 
with their three year old son, Alex. Phillip and two co-workers were recently sent to Poland on assignment. The Moores' daughter, 
Laura, lives in Raleigh and teaches English as a Second Language at Garner Middle School and adult education ESL at N. C. 
State. She taught ESL for two years in Czech Republic and one year in Australia. Butch died when the children were rather young, 
and Kitty has done an excellent job of raising and educating them. 

Kitty has been a member of the Wilson Junior Woman's Club and Daughters of the American Revolution, and she is currently 
a member of the United Daughters of Confederacy. She has sung in the Wilson Chorale for the last three years and their next 
concert will be patriotic and gospel music on May 30 at Fike High School. 

For several years Kitty has been interested in genealogy but confesses she only works at it sporadically. One can tell by her 
colorful yard that she loves gardening. She has especially enjoyed touring in England, Scotland, Germany, Austria and Italy. 

Although she was Lutheran, Kitty and Butch joined First Baptist Church about fifty years ago and Sunday School teachers 
may remember Tim, Phillip and Laura. Kitty is active in Sunday School, in Jackie Brooks' Group VI of the WMU, Ruth and Cliff 
Overman's Wednesday night cooking team, the Flower and Library Committees, and is a church greeter. 

Kitty Allen Moore is a quiet and modest lady, capable and hard-working, versatile and flexible, faithful in all she does, a dedicated 
Christian and very caring of others. 



62 




Margaret Morris 
"The Senior Scene" August 1998 

She considers herself fortunate to have been born on the farm on Highway 42 West which was 
purchased by her maternal grandfather in 1903 and to have been raised by a mother who supported 
Contentnea Primitive Baptist Church in every way possible. They rose early every third Saturday and 
Sunday in order to cook for many, many brothers and sisters in Christ who visited in their home. Her 
mother was born with a curvature of the spine and a clubfoot, but her deformity was never a handicap. 
She worked day after day and always took pride in her appearance. 

Margaret Williamson Morris still lives on Highway 42 West near her birthplace which burned after her 
mother died. Margaret was nicknamed "Pete" by her father when she was still in her cradle. She, her 
two sisters and brother graduated from Rock Ridge High School, as did her own three children. 

Margaret and Thomas Carlyle met as neighbors and were married in 1939. They had three children: 
Carol, Margaret and Carlyle, Jr. In 1948 they built the house where she still lives. Raising three 
children kept them busy and happy. Her husband especially liked to travel, so much that she jokes: 
"We may not always have had grocery money, but we always had vacation money." They traveled in 49 states and Carlyle 
was looking forward to traveling in the fiftieth state, Alaska, when he was diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus. He died in 
September of 1978. 

To become an educator, she entered college as an older student before it became ordinary. She graduated from Atlantic Christian 
College with a Batchelor of Arts degree magna cum laude at the age of 34. She taught first and second-grade children at Lamm's 
and Woodard Schools for 14 years. After receiving her Master of Arts in Education degree from East Carolina University, she 
became principal at Wells Elementary School in 1971, a position she held for 16 years before retiring at the age of 65. The 
following excerpts are from a memory book presented to her at that time by the faculty, staff and children at Wells: 

Our Principal 

Mrs. Morris is our principal. She is very cool. 

We always see her in the hall. When we're at Wells School. She makes us very happy. 

She always has a smile. And sometimes when I go to church I see her for a while. 

Catherine Drummond, Third Grade 

Mrs. Morris, My Principal 

We like to see her face at the Wells School place. 

She keeps the faculty in line and the children think she's fine ... She may be low but she's surely not slow. 

She's been at Wells for sixteen years and using her ears to calm the parents fears. And now, it's her desire to retire. 

Claren Warenda, Third Grade 

Since retiring, Margaret's time has been filled with church, family, friends, traveling and playing bridge, which she did not start until 
after retirement. Her name frequently appears among the winners of Wilson Recreation Department duplicate bridge. 

Her daughter, Carol and son-in-law, Gerald Summerlin, have two sons, Gerald, Jr. and Michael. Gerald, Jr. and his wife, Michelle 
have one son, Gerald Terry III, who was on our prayer list after his premature birth four months ago. Carol is a newly retired school 
principal after 32 years as an educator in Stoneville, North Carolina, the town where our Brotherhood recently helped in disaster 
relief. Carol is past District Governor of the Rotary Club. Margaret's daughter, Margaret and husband, Larry Huey have two sons, 
Kevin and Kyle. Margaret is Director of Emergency Services at Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas. Carlyle, Jr. 
who is a construction worker and lives next door to his mother has one daughter, Amber, now fourteen. Margaret's grandchildren 
and the children whose lives she touched during her years as an educator are her pride and joy. 

Margaret served on the Wilson County Industrial Council from 1 979 to 1 982, during which time Merck Pharmaceutical Manufacturing 
Company came in Wilson. She has continuously served on the Wilson County Board of Adjustment since 1982. She is a member 
of the North Carolina Retired Teachers Association and Delta Kappa Gamma, the international honorary society for women 
educators. Margaret has been a member of First Baptist Church for 40 years and is active in Sunday School, Church and Senior 
Adults. She has served as Chairman of the Nominating Committee and is currently President of the Friendship class. She is loyal 
to First Baptist Church and to her Lord and Saviour, a shining example to everyone around her. Her goal for the future is" just to 
reminisce, love the Lord a little more and hopefully make tomorrow a little better." 

Margaret Morris is a diminutive, quiet, modest, but very capable and responsible person. She is a willing worker and excels in 
anything she does. She has been described as sweet, loving and very family oriented, taking care of her mother and others who 
needed her and keeping extended family members in close touch. She is a very active and busy person, interested in everything and, 
therefore, interesting to know. She has overcome adversity in her life and is well respected by everyone who knows her. (2/14/10) 

63 




Betty Mullen 
"The Senior Scene" June 2000 

Betty Lillian Shouse was born in Greensboro, North Carolina on February 27, 1923 and had one 
brother and one sister. She attended Greensboro public schools until age ten when they moved 
to Hickory for a short time, where she was placed in the next grade. While there Betty contracted 
scarlet fever and was quarantined for a month. She was unconscious for a couple of days and 
when she awoke, she discovered her first personal Bible under her pillow, a gift from her aunt. 
Soon afterward, her family moved to Charlotte and Betty subsequently graduated from Central High 
School there in 1940. 

The day after graduating, Betty went to work at Southeastern Bus Tariff Bureau, publisher of rates 
and routes for bus companies. When that office moved to Atlanta, she worked several years in a 
Charlotte music store which sold choral, band and piano music, as well as instruments. Then she 
had an opportunity to work for an attorney who, while she was there, taught Charlotte's largest 
men's bible class and authored a book of religious essays. 

In 1947, Betty decided to look for work out of town, and for the next year she worked at the Institute for Research in Social Science 
at UNC-Chapel Hill. There she was secretary to Dr. John E. Ivey, Jr., who was co-authoring two social studies textbooks. At the 
end of that year, Dr. Ivey was employed by the Southern Governors Conference to initiate a study of regional education. When 
he and others set up an office in Atlanta, Betty moved there and continued to work for Dr. Ivey, who, with his co-workers, formed 
what is now known as the Southern Regional Education Board. 

Dissatisfied with only one room in a rooming house and not having any luck finding an apartment, she made plans to move back 
to North Carolina and apply for a position in the UNC Dental School. She even had reservations on a plane when a friend in real 
estate called to tell her of an available apartment located near her office. So she stayed in Atlanta, and the day she moved, she 
met Dr. Malcolm Preston Mullen, who practiced Internal Medicine and had an office in her apartment building! She had noticed 
him previously in a neighborhood restaurant. About a month later, he asked Betty for a date, and she set up a bridge game with 
two other friends, even though she only played casually. That is how she discovered that the doctor was an avid bridge player 
who played in duplicate bridge tournaments! They went together a year and then were married in Charlotte in December, 1952. 
Before the wedding, Betty shipped her belongings in a moving van and was on the train to Charlotte when Malcolm paged her 
to tell her the van had wrecked and burned, destroying everything. Malcolm accepted a job on the staff of Broughton Hospital in 
Morganton. Their first son, Preston, was born in Morganton in 1954. The family moved to Wilson in 1957, where Malcolm set up 
a private practice in Internal Medicine. Their son, John Christopher "Chris," was born in 1959. Betty also has a steppdaughter, 
Barbara, who lives in Georgia. 

When Chris was six months old, Betty went to work, first as a legal secretary and later as the bookkeeper, at the law firm of Lucas, 
Rand and Rose. The late Naomi E. Morris, who became Chief Judge of the North Carolina Court of Appeals, and the late Louis 
B. Meyer, who became a Supreme Court Justice, were members of that firm, as well as First Baptist Church. Betty enjoyed a 
close friendship with each of them. Betty feels that all her varied work experience furnished much of her education, though she 
did not attend college. 

When Betty was in the tenth grade, she had a young Bible teacher named Janet Robinson. They became friends and after 
finishing high school, Betty joined Janet's Bible Study Group. Even though Janet is now in her eighties, she is still in demand to 
tell the Christmas Story every year in Charlotte churches. Betty also had some friend's who were Quakers, and she once went to a 
meeting with them in Pennsylvania. As a member of the Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, Betty was, at different times, Secretary 
and then President on the state level and later Secretary and President on the synod level of the Presbyterian Young People. 
Many churches were represented at their regional conferences. 

In Chapel Hill, Betty became a member of the Presbyterian Church where the minister, Charles Jones, was very active in 
desegregation activities. The community was upset and as a result Rev. Jones' house was stoned. Betty joined with friends, 
mostly graduate students, in a supper co-op at that church and ate there several nights a week, participating in other social 
activities, including square dances and also discussion groups, which were sometimes held at Rev. Jones' home. When she 
moved to Atlanta, she continued attending the Presbyterian Church as well as the Episcopal Church in her neighborhood and the 
Quaker Church with a dear friend. After moving to Wilson, she became a member of the First Presbyterian Church. 

In 1968, Malcolm was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, and consequently accepted a job on the staff at Cherry Hospital in 
Goldsboro, commuting daily. For six years he worked during the week and took medications on the weekends which made him 
sick and unable to be active at Sunday worship services, although he had been raised as a Baptist. Even though Chris had joined 
First Baptist as a teenager, Betty was thinking of changing from First Presbyterian to Covenant Presbyterian when she learned 
Malcolm was interested in joining First Baptist. They joined First Baptist Church together in May 1977, and regularly attended 
Wednesday night Bible Study until he died later that year. He retired less than a year before he died. For three years during this 

64 



time, Preston was working in the West Indies and was still there when his father died. Preston graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill, is 
married to the former Elaine Marsh of New York and they are the parents of two daughters, Sarah, age thirteen, and Katie, eight. 
Preston, a computer scientist, and Elaine work for the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C. Elaine conducts research 
in computer understanding of natural language, having earned two Master's degrees in Linguistics. Chris graduated from Wake 
Forest University and received his Master of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary in Richmond. He then spent a year 
in China teaching English as a Second Language in an agricultural college under the auspices of Amity, a Chinese organization 
which worked in conjunction with Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board. Upon his return from China, he entered the graduate 
program at UNC-Chapel Hill and received his Doctor of Philosophy degree in English in December, 1999. Chris is a public school 
teacher in English as a Second Language. There are over one hundred foreign-speaking students in his school in High Point. He 
is married to a Presbyterian minister, the former Lisa Florence of Virginia, whom he met while in Seminary. Lisa has a Master's 
degree in Christian Education as well as her Master of Divinity: They have a daughter, Anna, age seven, and a son, Isaac, two, 
and they reside in High Point. 

During her early years in Wilson, Betty served as President of the Newcomers Club. She used to enjoy bowling and volunteered 
with Reach to Recovery in the American Cancer Society. Nowadays, she enjoys reading and cooking. She volunteers with Meals 
on Wheels, helping to package meals once a week and delivering meals once a month. She spends a good amount of time 
preparing food at home to take on personal visits to the sick. She also enjoys having friends in to eat. 

Betty remains active in Sunday School, Church and WMU. In the past, she served in several capacities in her Sunday School 
Class, was a member of the Senior Adult Council, the Library Committee and a Wednesday night cooking team. Having survived 
several major surgeries, Betty says she is grateful each day she can get up and walk. Her seven-year-old housemate, "Tippi" a 
Yorkshire Terrier given to her as a birthday gift by her family, is so full of energy she seems almost hyperactive and keeps Betty 
on her toes. They are good company for each other. 

Betty Mullen is another of our good role-model Earth Angels. She is caring and compassionate and therefore kind to and thoughtful 
of others. She is fair-minded, deep-thinking and intelligent. She is not only knowledgeable about the Bible and Christianity, but 
about other religions as well. Last but not least, she is devoted to her family and faithful to God. (6/11/05) 

Jack and Becky Mylum 
"The Senior Scene" July 1999 

Rebecca Jane Baker was born in Davies County near Owensboro, Kentucky on September 11, 
1921 to Elizabeth and Rufus Baker, and was named for her paternal grandmother. "Becky" had two 
brothers, one older and the other younger. While her mother and brothers loved farming, her father, 
who was raised on a farm, did not and became a traveling salesman. When Becky was only four 
years old, the owner of the store near their home would coax her to sing for him by offering a stick 
of chewing gum. 

Becky was educated in the Davies County Schools, played violin in the school orchestra, sang in 
the Glee Club and sang a solo at her high school graduation. She graduated from the University 
of Kentucky in Lexington in 1943 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics. Although 
Becky's mother was a member of the Christian Church and her father was Methodist, Becky preferred 

attending the Baptist Church with her cousins and other relatives and at age eighteen was baptized in a creek near Panther Creek 

Baptist Church. 

Becky was teaching Home Economics at Madison High School in Richmond, Kentucky when she and two other teachers were 
in a local drug store one November day, and one of the teachers introduced Becky to Jack Mylum who was there on the tobacco 
market. Becky says, "It was love at first sight!" After the market closed, Jack came home to Wilson for only a week before returning 
to Richmond in February to ask Becky to marry him. They planned their wedding for Friday, March 22 but had to postpone it a day 
because the minister was up in the mountains and could not get there until the next day. They were married on March 23, 1946 
in Berea, Kentucky by Rev. O. B. Mylum, Jack's uncle and pastor of First Baptist Church there. 

Jack was born in Wilson, March 21, 1922 at Carolina General Hospital to Jenny and Samuel E. Mylum. He had one older brother, 
Ernest. Mr. Mylum worked for Liggett & Myers in Wilson for thirty years and Mrs. Mylum was a homemaker. They were active 
members of First Baptist Church and Jack joined First Baptist at age nine. He attended Frederick Woodard Elementary School 
and graduated from Charles L. Coon High School, where he played football. 

After Jack and Becky were married, they stayed in Richmond until Becky finished teaching school that year and came to Wilson 
to live with Jack's parents. Becky joined First Baptist Church in November 1946. While Jack was on the tobacco market in 
Owensboro, Kentucky, Becky went to be with him and gave birth to their daughter, Jane in December. In 1950, they were blessed 
with twin daughters, Jenny Lind and Elizabeth Ann, named for both grandmothers. 

65 




When Jane was two, Becky was offered a job at Carolina General Hospital as dietitian and teacher of nurses' Nutrition and Diet 
Therapy. She worked off and on there for twenty years and at Wilson Memorial seven and a half years before retiring in 1 972. For 
twenty-nine years, Jack continued to work as a buyer for Liggett & Myers traveling to Georgia and Kentucky, as well as Rocky 
Mount and Tarboro. After retiring, he worked with Hail & Cotton of Rocky Mount for two years, Universal Leaf for ten years, and 
even now works part time for Wainwright Warehouse during tobacco season. In 1998 Jack received an award from Travelers 
Protective Association for being a fifty-year member. 

Becky is faithful to God and loyal to First Baptist Church. She taught sixth-grade boys and fourth-grade girls in Sunday School. It 
is interesting that she taught Sherron Boyd and this year Sherron Boyd Moore will be Becky's WMU Circle Leader. Becky taught 
high school seniors in Training Union for three years and was Training Union Director for two years. She also taught Vacation 
Bible School for five years. She was President and Vice-President of her Sunday School Class and a Circle Leader for two or 
three terms. She was active in the WMU Circle, which sang and gave monthly birthday parties for residents of Brian Center and 
her recent Circle which did the same at Triangle East. She assisted Lucille Cole and Hattie Wooten with cooking in the church 
kitchen. Becky was the first woman to serve as Adult V Assembly leader, serving two years. She was a member of the Sanctuary 
Choir for twenty years and is still a member of the Senior Adult Choir and Handbells, although she has been inactive since her 
knee surgery last December. She says that was when Jack was promoted to Chief Cook and Bottlewasher. Becky now spends 
that time doing physical therapy on her stationery bicycle and in the hot tub in their enclosed carport. 

Becky made her first reed basket while teaching older children in Vacation Bible School and basket making has become her 
favorite craft. She has taught it to women at the church, to adults at the Senior Adult Conference at Fort Caswell for four years, 
to 4-H'ers four or five summers, and at Wilson Technical College. She was a member of the North Carolina Basket Makers 
Association for many years. She and her daughter, Jenny once took Ceramics together at the Recreation Department. Becky has 
also enjoyed making stained glass ornaments, quilting and growing flowers. 

The Mylums' daughter, Jane Gardner, writes children's books and works for American Publishing Company in Mt. Vernon, New 
York. She has no children but takes care of Jack and Becky's three granddogs! Libby, the older of the twins by five minutes, is 
married to Groves Privette and is Safety Coordinator of the American Red Cross in Wilson. They have one daughter, April who 
has just graduated from Edgecombe Community College in Radiology. She works at CVS and hopes to continue her education 
in MRI and Ultrasound. The Mylums' daughter, Jenny is married to Allen White and they make their home in Wendell. Their older 
son, Travis is married to the former Angie Hendrickson and they are expecting a baby boy around the first of August. The Whites 
also have a son, Bryan and daughter, Anna Blair. For years the Mylums raised beautiful finches, so many at times that they sold 
them to a pet shop. They no longer raise them but still have several who fill their home with cheerful chirping. They also have a 
fifteen-year-old female Schnauzer named Ashley who has had cataract surgery, then glaucoma and is now blind. She is still very 
protective of her family, and Jack walks her three or more times a day. 

Very soon after retiring, Becky went to Europe to visit with Jenny and Allen, who was stationed with the Navy at Naples. The 
three of them spent twenty-one days back-packing through ten countries. They had Eurorail passes which allowed them on and 
off the train to sightsee at leisure. Their inexpensive accommodations in Florence, Italy turned out to be rooms built inside a 
warehouse just for tourists. Becky especially looked forward to seeing the Blue Danube River, but was terribly disappointed to 
find it very muddy. They did their laundry in General George Patton's laundry room on the base in Heidelburg, Germany. They 
enjoyed seeing the tulips in Holland, as well as cheese made in Edam, Holland. In the summer of 1986, Becky enjoyed sailing on 
a Carnival Cruise ship in the Eastern Caribbean for a week with Jenny, Allen and their family. In November 1 997, forty-six friends 
and family members from Michigan, Wendell, Raleigh, Wilmington and Wilson took a Carnival Cruise to the Western Caribbean. 
The occasion was grandson Travis' wedding to Angie on the seashore at the Grand Cayman. In March 1996, Jack and Becky 
celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary at Libby and Groves' home. One of the cards they received was from President and 
Mrs. Clinton. 

Becky has been an active member of the Extension Homemakers Club for twenty-five years, and has held all offices. One time on 
an Extension trip to Raleigh, she and Barbara Mercer were given a luscious dessert after they sent word to the manager that they 
had actually seen a mouse under the salad bar! Becky helped organize three Extension Clubs in the County, and was elected 
Woman of the Year about 1980. Becky joined the Wilson Woman's Club many years ago, but dropped out during her working 
years. She rejoined about ten years ago and has been active in the Garden Department and the American Home Department, 
holding offices in both. A friend says that Becky is gentle, very compassionate, sees the best in everybody, is jolly and a good 
travel companion. She is an adventuresome person, a hard and willing worker, multi-talented, generous with her time and talents, 
friendly, outgoing, patient, and helpful to everyone. Jack is a good provider and family man who has become a good chef, efficient 
housekeeper and excellent caregiver. He and Becky are devoted to each other and to their children and grandchildren. They are 
the second of four generations of Mylums in First Baptist Church. We are anxious for Becky's complete recovery because "her" 
pew has now been empty far too long. 



66 




C.A. and Juanita Nelson 
"The Senior Scene" July 2000 

It's no wonder they are life partners! Their lives are very- similar, therefore, a lot of the following 
sentences may start with: "Both of them ... " because they go together like bacon and eggs, peanut 
butter and jelly or peaches and cream! 

They were both born in August, attended and were baptized in the same church, were in the church 
choir, and both graduated from Washington High School. (They are quick to add "in the original 
Washington-North Carolina.") 

Even though they attended school and church together, they first "met" on his father's tobacco farm 
near Chocowinity, where they worked during the summers, when she was fourteen years old and he 
was sixteen. Although she was born in Swan Quarter (Hyde County) and he was born in Pactolus 
(Pitt County), they were both raised in Washington. 

His parents were the late C. A., Sr. and Olive Lewis Nelson. C. A. Jr. has two sisters, one who lives in Texas and the other in 
Arizona. His five brothers are now deceased. Juanita Nelson's parents were the late Carlton D. and Alice Bell Mason. You may 
remember Alice, who lived with the Nelsons and attended First Baptist Church before her death last year. Juanita has one brother 
who lives in Wilmington. 

C. A. tells an amusing story about his name: "My father's initials were C. A. N. and he had two brothers whose initials were C. 

B. and C. C. — C. A., C. B. and C. C. Their names? Well some people have said that my father originally was Caesar Augustus, 

C. B. was Curtis Brutus, and C. C. was Christopher Columbus. It was said that my father changed his name to Collin Augustus, 
so now you know why people call me "C.A." And I'm glad!" There's another story about his mother's initials being O. I. L. and his 
father's being C. A. N. (Mr. and Mrs. OIL CAN). C. A. can tell you. 

While in school, Juanita was very active in Future Homemakers of America and choirs. C. A. played football, basketball and 
baseball, and participated in choirs, quartets, plays and choruses. At his family gatherings, there was always plenty of music with 
singing accompanied by piano and guitars. Juanita and C. A. dated for four years and were married on September 4, 1955, in 
the First Baptist Church of Washington when he was twenty and she was eighteen. Both went to work and say that the college 
they attended was "M.C. - Marriage College." Before settling in Wilson in 1968, C. A. Nelson was employed by the Insurance 
Department of Branch Banking and Trust Company. They lived in Washington, New Bern and Wilmington. He was in Insurance 
Sales and Training 30 years, in clothing sales at Penney's ten years and has been a real estate broker the past 12 years, having 
taken various courses in Insurance and Real Estate. Juanita was employed as Secretary and Bookkeeper for 32 years by the 
Wilson County Schools and retired this year. She was a member of the Educational Office Personnel and has taken numerous 
courses on self-improvement and education workshops. 

Their children, Debbie and Greg, were raised in Wilson and baptized in the First Baptist Church. Debbie is married to Joe Ray and 
they make their home in Rocky Mount with their daughters, Stephanie (twelve) and Shelby (eight). Debbie is Assistant Principal 
at VinsonnBynum Elementary School in Wilson. Greg is married to the former Stephanie Humphries and they live in King, North 
Carolina (North of Winston-Salem), where he is District Sales Manager of Murray Biscuit Company. They have a daughter, 
Sydney (almost eight) and a son, Stephen (six). 

Juanita and C. A. have remained active in church functions throughout their lives. They are long-time members of the Sanctuary 
Choir, although there were years when Juanita "took time out" to care for their children and, more recently, her mother. She has 
taught Sunday School and Girls' Auxiliary, is presently active in WMU and has recently become involved with the Barnabas 
Committee. C. A. has always been very willing to share his musical talents with beautiful heart-touching solos during worship 
services, as well as Senior Adult luncheons and private parties, etc. He and his daughter, Debbie, who sings in her church choir, 
have sung duets in an area church. His talents are certainly God-given, because he has had no voice lessons and does not read 
music! 

C. A. also enjoys a great sense of humor and loves the mystery of magic. Combining those, he has performed as a stand-up comic 
and self-taught magician for one of our luncheons, and also other groups. A past member of the Junior Chamber of Commerce, he 
currently serves on the Professional Standards Committee and the Ethics and Arbitration Committee with the Board of Realtors. 
He is a blood donor for the American Red Cross as often as they allow, and at the present time, has given 1 1 2 pints or 1 4 gallons! 

Juanita enjoys homemaking, family and friends, while C. A. favors sports, art and reading. They share their love of music and 
their four grandchildren, who are active in sports and music. Juanita and C. A. both enjoy cooking and eating out. They have a 
positive outlook on life and describe themselves as "happy-go-lucky,just enjoying life and being together. Friends say that Juanita 
and C. A. are both very conscientious and that they put their priorities on our Lord and our church people. A vacation week does 
not include Sunday, because their place is in Wilson First Baptist Choir. One choir member says that if C. A. isn't there, they're 

67 



in trouble. It is said that the Nelsons are a joy to know and that they light up a room when they come in, problems don't seem 
as heavy when they are around, and they make people feel better by their words and actions. They are very thoughtful, loving, 
giving and always willing to help. A former next-door neighbor says that everyone should have them for a neighbor and her only 
complaint is that C. A. didn't raise the bathroom window when he sang in the shower! 




Gene and Evelyn Neeland 
"The Senior Scene" May 1997 

Evelyn Barnes was born in Wilson, the second of three daughters born to Hazel and Howard Barnes. 
Evelyn's older sister, Rita Dunn, lives in Wilson and her younger sister, Joyce Hilley, lives in Fairfax, 
Virginia. Evelyn says that she has "always" been a member of First Baptist Church. She must have 
inherited her love for First Baptist Church from her mother, who was very active in all phases of our 
church. 

After finishing high school, Evelyn graduated from Atlantic Christian College and then earned her 
Laboratory Technician Degree at Watts Hospital in Durham. She went to live with an aunt in Montgomery, 
Alabama, and worked as a lab tech with the Civil Service at Maxwell Air Force Base. There she met 
and worked with another lab tech in the Air Force named Eugene Neeland. With the encouragement of 
a mutual friend, whom Evelyn describes as a "matchmaker," Evelyn and Gene started going together. 
They were married about a year later in Wilson after the end of World War II. 

Gene was born in Salina, Kansas. According to Evelyn, he attended too many colleges to list and was a cereal chemist before 
the war. After their marriage, they lived in Detroit for a few months before returning to Alabama, where Gene earned a degree in 
Pharmacy at Auburn. He then went to the University of Alabama Medical School for his medical degree, graduating when he was 
40 years of age. After interning at Rex Hospital in Raleigh, they moved to Wilson, where he set up his general medicine practice 
at Five Points. In his practice, he delivered many, many babies. Not only did he diagnose and treat all kinds of illnesses, but he 
worked in Psychiatry with the Public Health Department. Evelyn describes him as a "workaholic." He worked very hard to keep 
his patients happy, as well as healthy. Dr. Neeland retired in 1987, much to the regret of his patients, after practicing medicine for 
32 years. 

Until their son David was born in Montgomery, Evelyn continued to work as a laboratory technician. David followed his parents 
into the medical field and is now a radiologist in Montgomery. He and his wife, Elise, have two daughters. Leslie will graduate 
from high school this year and has been accepted at Yale. Elizabeth is a junior in high school. Evelyn and Gene's second son, 
Ray, an avid bridge player, lives in Wilson and is single. Although Dr. Neeland still enjoys driving the tractor, Ray has, for the most 
part, taken over the family farm that his father loved and tended for many years. The Neelands' only daughter, Lynn, is married 
to "Tank" Barnes and they have a 12 year-old daughter, Beth. Tank also has a son, Thomas, by a former marriage. Lynn works at 
Southern Bank in Rocky Mount, and the family lives in Elm City. 

Besides Dr. Neeland's profession and his "truck farm," as Evelyn calls it, Gene also found time to refinish antiques, quite a few 
of which decorate their home. At one time, he had an extensive collection of guns, as well as coins. He also found time to repair 
bicycles for children who could not afford them. He served on the Wilson County Board of Education for 12 years, part of that time 
as Chairman. For a few years, the Neelands furnished the land and a tractor for several garden plots for needy families to tend 
and reap. Fertilizer, seed, etc. were furnished by the Church Brotherhood. A longtime member of First Baptist, Gene served as a 
deacon and was active in the Brotherhood. Evelyn was a WMU Circle Chairman, Program Chairman and Sunday School teacher 
of the Mary Martha Class following Mrs. Ada Felton. Evelyn enjoys reading, playing bridge and tennis. She is just beginning to 
play tennis again after recuperating from knee surgery last fall. She has been a volunteer with the Soup Kitchen and Meals on 
Wheels. Evelyn helps pick the produce from the farm and then stays busy freezing, canning and sharing fresh vegetables with 
family, friends and those in need. 

The Neelands are a quiet couple, devoted to each other and their family, compassionate and generous 
in giving to others, not only of material things, but of themselves, their time and their labors. They are 
certainly a blessing to our church and an asset to our community. 

Joe and Peggy Newton 
"The Senior Scene" March 2002 

Joseph Royal Newton was born November 3, 1927 in Wilson County to Royal Lee James and 
Nannie Mae Williams Newton, the third of four children. One sister died at age two. His father farmed 
in Wilson County, where Bob and Tom Boswell's family were their neighbors. The three boys built a 
small log cabin, a homemade "Ferris wheel" and other things. When Joe was about thirteen, he and 

68 




his brother Ed took the body of a Model A Ford off the chassis, hauled the chassis to an iron works business and sold it for less 
than five dollars. The desk Joe currently uses is one he made in the ninth grade at Charles L. Coon High School, and he has other 
pieces of furniture he has made or refinished. 

Joe graduated from Charles L. Coon High School in 1 945 and for the next year he served in the U S. Navy on the US.S. Wyoming, 
a battleship based in Norfolk. He then attended Atlantic Christian College for a short time and afterward went to Veterans School 
for Farming. While farming in Nash County with his father, he often went to Sharpsburg to buy farming supplies, where he finally 
accepted a long-offered invitation to attend the Sharpsburg Baptist Church. He was soon elected the youngest deacon ever at 
that time. 

Peggy Joyce Davis was born April 21, 1938 in Sharpsburg, North Carolina to Orville Gorham and Lessie Davis Davis, who was 
a twin and one of fourteen children. Peggy was the youngest of nine children, five girls and four boys. Peggy's mother was gifted 
in needlework, music (played the piano by ear) and was a faithful member of Mill Branch Primitive Baptist Church. Peggy's father 
was a farmer and a founding elder of Morton Presbyterian Church where he sang in the choir. Peggy graduated from Elm City 
High School in 1956, where she was valedictorian of her class, president of the Student Council, played clarinet in the school 
band and played basketball all four years, three of which her team won the County Championship. On Sunday Peggy's Aunt 
Bessie (her mother's twin) would take Peggy, her sister and a cousin to Sharpsburg Baptist Church. When Joe first saw Peggy 
(16) he was immediately attracted to her. One night during the service, he tore off a piece of the church bulletin and wrote on it, 
"Can I take you home? Please." and dropped it in the offering plate! When the plate came to Peggy, Joe motioned for her to take 
the note which she still has. At the fellowship in the parsonage that evening, Peggy's older sister allowed her to be escorted home 
by Joe. Most of their three-year courtship was done in church, where they both sang in the youth choir. Joe wanted to marry 
Peggy after her high school graduation, but she wanted to further her education and enrolled in a one-year secretarial course at 
Atlantic Christian College. At the end of that year she received her certificate and served as a marshal. On June 9, 1 957 they were 
married in the Sharpsburg Baptist Church which Joe actually helped build. 

For fourteen months after they married, Peggy Newton worked in Medical Records at Woodard-Herring Hospital until their son 
Joseph, Jr. was born in July 1958. While working at the hospital, Peggy entered an essay contest "I like my boss because .... "and 
won a typewriter. When the baby was six months old, his parents took him to Tennessee where Joe was assigned to the tobacco 
market. While they were there, Bruce Riley, President of the National Bank of Wilson, called and asked Peggy to be his secretary. 
She accepted and it was during her three-year employment that the bank merged with First Union. 

Joe received an honorable discharge from the U. S. Navy. During the Korean conflict, he was reclassified l-Aeven though he was 
married and the father of a child. He joined the U. S. Army Reserve and served as Information Officer with the Reception Station 
in Wilson. Joe received his second honorable discharge after ten years in the U. S. Army Reserve. 

For fifty-three years Joe was an independent contractor as a ticket marker for various tobacco warehouses. In the beginning an 
older ticket marker had given him advice and hands-on experience in Valdosta, Georgia. As ticket marker, it was necessary to 
remember what the auctioneer had just announced about one basket of tobacco, record the price brought, purchasing company, 
grade of tobacco and figure the government support while the auctioneer moved ahead to the next basket with new facts and 
figures. Joe worked on flue-cured markets in five states and burley markets in four states. He was employed between tobacco 
seasons by various companies, such as J. C. Penney (ten years), Farmers Cotton Oil Company (twelve years), and Wilson 
Daily Times, as well as measuring crop land, etc., with the exception of one tobacco off season when Joe was a stay-at-home 
father to their baby son while Peggy worked at the bank, Once while Joe was away on the market, Peggy bought several items 
at Bissette's Drug Store. Inside a package of Cracker Jacks, she found a form stating, "Register to win a Mazda Station Wagon 
filled with Mattel toys," so she entered and WON! Because they had two vehicles, she chose to receive the money instead of 
the car. When the toys came, the boxes filled two rooms in their home, so they shared the bounty with First Baptist Youth for 
needy children, the Salvation Army and Free Will Baptist Children's Home in Middlesex, saving only a few toys for possible future 
grandchildren. 

While Joe was in Jasper, Florida, Peggy and Joseph joined him and spent their spare time sight-seeing interesting places such as 
Cape Canaveral. Sometimes young Joseph "worked" alongside Joe on the market handing him tickets, etc. In later years, Joseph 
told his parents that those were the most enjoyable days of his childhood. 

When Joseph finished high school and entered college at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Peggy returned to 
Atlantic Christian (now Barton) College and in 1978 received her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education summa 
cum laude. She was elected to Alpha Chi Honor Society and received other academic awards, including the Rotary Club Cup. 
She treasures the long-time friends that she made in college. 

Because her mother did not drive, Peggy visited weekly to take her grocery shopping, to visit relatives, neighbors, etc. After her 
mother became an invalid, Peggy helped take care of her needs for eleven years. 

A family joke is that Joseph absorbed a love for the medical field through osmosis while still in the womb when Peggy worked 



at Woodard-Herring Hospital. After Joseph won several public speaking awards, his parents thought he might become a lawyer; 
however, during college he chose to become a doctor. While he was a senior, he told his parents to open any mail from medical 
schools to see if he had been accepted. Joe had said that he would shout it from the rooftop if Joseph were accepted. One day 
Joe was on the roof when an acceptance letter was delivered from Duke Medical School, and Joe really did shout quite loudly! 

Joseph had 15 1/2 years medical training to become a cardiothoracic surgeon. In 1980 he graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill where 
he was Phi Beta Kappa, and from Duke Medical School in 1984. He was selected to study in Oxford, England one summer. He 
interned at Massachusetts General in Boston and later served as Chief Resident, working there 7 1/2 years. He now practices 
with several doctors at Mid-Atlantic Cardiothoracic Surgeons, Ltd in Norfolk, and does much surgery for family members of the 
medical community. Years ago, Lib Bumgamer's husband had heart surgery there. Joseph is married to the former Jill Williams, 
a medical technologist from New Bern, and they have three children-William (13), Caroline (almost 9) and Emily (7). 

Peggy served as grade mother at Vinson-Bynum and president of the Parent-Faculty Organization at Fike High School. She 
enjoys arranging flowers and was president of the Westwood Garden Club. She was on the Board of the Wilson Community 
Concerts and while a member of the Wilson Woman's Club, served variously as chaplain, vice-president and program chairman. 
In 1976, Peggy became interested in genealogy, researched her family tree and then joined the Thomas Hadley Chapter of the 
Daughters of the American Revolution, later serving as Regent for two years. 

Joe was active in Scouting from the time Joseph joined the Scouts until he attained Eagle rank and received the God and Country 
Award. Joe won the Rotary Club Employee Courtesy Award while working at J. C. Penney. He, too, was active in Vinson-Bynum 
Parent Teachers Association. At different times, both Joe and Joseph were honored as Wilson Daily Times "Wilsonian of the 
Week." 

After Joe retired Peggy terminated her membership in the DAR and Woman's Club so that they might spend more time together, 
travel and enjoy their grandchildren. They enjoy walking for exercise. Joe does all of the yard work, including pruning and tending 
his vineyard. Joe laid the brick patio and walkways in the back yard; the backyard storage house was built by Joe and Joseph. 
The Newtons have received the City of Wilson Yard of the Month Award, as well as Yard of the Month and Yard of the Season in 
Westwood. 

Peggy either learned or inherited her needlework talents from her mother, who always did beautiful needlework and crocheted 
eight bedspreads for her children in just a little over one year. Most of the framed works of art in the Newton home were done by 
Peggy in various methods of embroidery. Joe figures their taxes and Peggy types them. They are so close and devoted to each 
other they often finish one another's sentences. They usually go to sleep listening to hymns on the Bible Broadcasting Network 
at 92.5 FM, which they highly recommend for relaxation and a good night's sleep. 

The Newtons joined First Baptist Church in 1958 and Peggy has served as Sunday School teacher for nearly forty years. She 
served as Director of the fifth grade department and taught with Gray Vick, Barbara Bussey and others while Thurman Bailey 
taught boys of that age. Peggy also taught third grade with Jackie Bissette and has been teaching the Ruth Class for more than 
twenty years. She says that she "just has a love for learning." Always active in WMLI (Baptist Women), she has served as Mission 
Action and Mission Support Chairperson and Publicity/Recruitment Chairman. As program chairman, she was able to book 
well-known Baptist speakers such as Keith Parks, Cecil Sherman, Delanna O'Brien, Carolyn Weatherford, Crumpler and Peggy 
Haymes. Peggy received the 1995-1996 WMU Service Award and is currently WMU Membership Publicity Chairman. Joe taught 
boys in the Junior and Senior Departments for several years and sang in the Sanctuary Choir for many years. He served on the 
Finance and Personnel Committees while he was an active deacon. Although Peggy chaired the Campbell Soup Label campaign 
for the After School Program, she and Joe worked together with a committee collecting and counting labels to earn supplies 
and equipment for the children. Not content to collect labels from our church only, Peggy wrote the Biblical Recorder, the WMU 
State Magazine and other sources which published an appeal, resulting in more than 50,000 labels received from one hundred 
churches in North Carolina from Manteo to Murphy. 

Peggy bought their home piano with her share of her father's estate. After graduating from Atlantic Christian, Peggy took piano 
lessons about three years and gained experience by playing in First Baptist Sunday School. When Peggy and Joe went into Adult 
IV Department, Joe was asked to lead the singing and Peggy to play the piano. They alternate with C. A. Nelson and Eleanor 
Blake. Once a month they go with Sallie Boswell's WMU Group to WilMed Nursing Home to play the piano and lead the singing. 
They consider this part of their contribution to the Barnabas Ministry. 

Peggy and Joe feel blessed to be a part of the ministry at First Baptist Church and they say that apart from our Saviour Christ 
Jesus, their greatest gifts are each other, Joseph, Jill and their grandchildren. For the last 44 years, the City of Wilson and First 
Baptist Church have been very fortunate to have Joe and Peggy Newton serving their fellow man and our Lord God as members 
of our church family. Their moral standards, their faithfulness, dedication and devotion to Jesus Christ and their continuing service 
are appreciated beyond words. 



70 




Laura Newton 
From the October, 1993 SENIOR SCENE titled "Farewell" 

Laura Newton moved last Saturday to a Retirement Center in Newton, NC, to be nearer her son, Lynn, in Hickory, and her 
daughter, Betty Goff, in Gastonia. Laura is a native of Kentucky and the widow of Hugh Newton. They lived in Wilson over 60 
years. Her husband taught in Rocky Mount and Wilson, and together with the late Harvey Daughtridge, owned Refrigeration 
and Appliances. Laura was a charter member of the Sewing Group, being very adept at lap quilting, candle wicking, crocheting, 
knitting, Chrismons, etc. She made wall hangings, as well as lace for a candlewick bedspread for sale at the Christmas Auction. 
She was a member of the Friday Home Demonstration Extension Club. She was a member of the Rebekah Sunday School Class. 

Laura Newton will truly be missed by all who know her. We wish her well in her new home. 

Tom and Patsy Nobles 
"The Senior Scene" May 2003 

He was born on February 24, 1932 in Pitt County near Winterville, and she was born on September 
27, 1937 in Franklin County near Louisburg. He graduated from Winterville High School in 1951 and 
immediately joined the U.S. Air Force. He served a four-year term with basic training at Lackland Air 
Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, Tech School at Tennessee Polytechnic Institute in Nashville, and 
two years on Okinawa in the South Pacific. While there he visited Honolulu, Guam, Japan and the 
Philippine Islands. He was also stationed at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and Dover, Delaware. After his 
discharge he entered East Carolina College in the Fall of 1955. 

Her father was a farmer and her mother a teacher. She was reared in a small community in Franklin 
County near Louisburg, where most activities were centered around family, church, tobacco farming 
and other rural activities. For recreation the children rode bicycles and played basketball and baseball. 
She attended White Level Elementary School and graduated in 1955 from Edward Best High School 

near Louisburg (where her mother taught). Her studies were very important to her and she enjoyed participating in sports, playing 

basketball all four years. She entered East Carolina College in the Fall of 1955. 

They were introduced by friends at Atlantic Beach in their freshman year, but they did not start dating until the beginning of their 
senior year. In 1958, after only three years, he earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration, and she 
earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education. 

His parents, Blount Thomas and Anniebelle Bullock Nobles, named him William Thomas "Tom" Nobles. He has an older sister, 
Helen Nobles Dozier and a deceased younger brother, Archie. Patsy June Leonard was born to Rufus Gorman and Clarice 
Dickerson Leonard. Like the Nobles, there were two boys and a girl. Patsy was the only daughter and sandwiched between 
Gerald, an older brother and Donald, a younger brother. 

After graduating from ECU, Tom began working with a retail firm in Raleigh, where he spent six years in Accounting and six years 
as Assistant Store Manager. After her graduation, Patsy and a group of friends taught school in Hampton, Virginia. She said that 
year introduced her to the many facets of teaching and the many roles a teacher must play. She returned to North Carolina the 
following summer. 

Patsy and Tom Nobles were married on June 20, 1959. In August she began her tenure with Wake County Schools teaching at 
Vandora Springs School in Garner, and her affiliation with that school encompassed a period of twelve years. 

Their two daughters were born during this time. Charlene and Sheree were ages seven and four when the family moved to Wilson. 
The girls attended B. O. Barnes, Vinson-Bynum, Charles L. Coon Middle and Hunt High Schools. Both were involved in track at 
Hunt, and Sheree was a cheerleader for three years. Patsy and Tom enjoyed meeting their daughters' friends and participating 
in their school functions. Charlene and Sheree attended East Carolina University and married ECU graduates, both of whom are 
Physical Therapists. Charlene graduated from Atlantic Christian College with a Bachelor of Science in Business like her father. 
She married Jay Melton of Glenview near Enfield, and she works in the Accounting Department of Meadowbrook Meats, Inc. 
They live in Rocky Mount and have a daughter, Sara (10) and a son, Joshua (7), students at Coopers Elementary School in Nash 
County. Sheree has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting and Master's Degree in Education. She married Robin Pierce of 
Pine Level near Smithfield, and they have two sons, Jordan (4) and Blake (20 months), both at Kids Kountry Pre-School and Day 
Care in Greenville where the family lives. Sheree teaches Business, Accounting and Computer Science at North Pitt High School 
in Bethel, making three generations of teachers. 

Atuming point in the Nobles' careers came in 1 972 when Tom accepted employment in Wilson with the North Carolina Department 
of Transportation. His basic duties were acquiring land and rights for highway construction and related matters. Patsy unwillingly 

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left friends and colleagues to begin another chapter in her life; however, she liked Wilson from the beginning because of friendly 
neighbors, churches, schools, teachers and no weekend or holiday work days for Tom. After being interviewed by Wilson City and 
County Schools, Patsy began job hunting in surrounding counties. She secured a teaching position with Wayne County, where 
she remained for twenty-two years. She taught first, second and fourth grade children for a total of thirty-five years before retiring 
in 1994. Tom retired a year later in June 1995. 

Patsy enjoys staying at home, lunching with friends, reading, baking, shopping and exercising. Her favorite pastime is keeping 
grandchildren, playing with them, volunteering at their schools, having lunch with them and giving them birthday parties at school 
or home. The grandchildren top Tom's list of "hobbies" also, but he does enjoy playing golf, traveling and yard work. He is a 
member of the Evening Optimist Club and Patsy is a charter member of the Golden Circle Optimist Club. She is also a member 
of the Wilson County Retired School Personnel. They both do a lot of volunteer work with Friends of Crystal Beach. After buying 
a place on the Pamlico River in 1996, Tom built piers, bulkheads and planted grass to stabilize a 40-foot high embankment. They 
spend one or two weekends a month year round with the Crystal Beach Friends Organization (community improvement), relaxing 
and engaging in Clean Sweep yard sales, fish fry or stews, paving streets, field trips to Estuaries of Goose Creek State Park and 
sponsoring Santa Claus for underprivileged children in the area. Patsy has also volunteered with Mental Health Association, N.C. 
Special Care Center and Nash County Schools. 

Both Tom and Patsy have been very active in the Optimist Clubs, traveling with groups from Wilson to Optimist International 
Conventions in many places across the USA and also to Montreal, Canada. Their most memorable experience was being caught 
in an earthquake in California while attending the Convention in Anaheim. Patsy woke up suddenly at 3:00 AM thinking Tom was 
shaking the bed as a prank. Their travels with other friends include a cruise to the Bahamas and whale watching at Hyannis Port, 
Massachusetts. They have also traveled extensively with RV friends throughout many states. 

Patsy and Tom especially enjoy a six-couple "Supper Club," most of whom are from Goldsboro. For fifteen years, they have had 
dinner parties once a month at different homes, traveled to surrounding state attractions or had fish fries at their river place or 
the home of another couple on the Chowan River. They also usually gather at Christmas, New Year's and Superbowl Sunday. 

As a child, Patsy regularly attended Sandy Creek Baptist Church in Franklin County, became a Christian and was baptized there 
at an early age. After they were married they attended Immanuel Baptist Church in Raleigh and later moved their membership 
to Gamer Baptist Church in Gamer. They became charter members of Aversboro Road Baptist Church in Gamer, a mission 
outgrowth of Gamer Baptist. When they moved to Wilson they transferred their membership to Westview Christian Church where 
Tom served as an elder and both of them served as deacons, Sunday School teachers and on various Committees for thirty 
years. Both of their daughters were baptized and later married at Westview. 

In January 2002, they called long-time friends, Jean and Cecil McLamb, to tell them they planned to visit their church, First Baptist 
again. Virginia and Sam Evett soon introduced them to many members and all activities of First Baptist Church, which they joined 
last June. Tom is active in the Paraclete Sunday School Class and a member of the Senior Adult Council. Patsy is a member 
of the Ruth Class, WMU and the After School Program. They attend worship services, Wednesday evenings and Senior Adult 
luncheons when not out of town. They had only been visiting First Baptist about three months when Tom suffered a heart attack 
last Easter. The Nobles say that members of our church have overwhelmed them with kindness, caring and a welcoming attitude. 
They are especially grateful to Pastors Doug Murray and Tom Riley for their visits and calls while Tom was recuperating. They say 
that they have been very pleased with their choice in worship at First Baptist and could not have picked a finer place to continue 
their relationship with God. 

Cliff and Ruth Overman 
"The Senior Scene" March 1999 

Charles Wood Overman, 95 and his wife, Ruth Harrell Overman, who just turned 93, recently visited 
First Baptist Church of Wilson and attended Sunday School in the Adult V Assembly. They were in 
town visiting their son and daughter-in-law, George Clifford and Ruth Rea Holmes Elliott Overman. 

"Cliff' was born in Windsor on March 22, 1936, the second of three boys with a younger sister. The 
family soon moved to Roanoke Island, where Cliff's father played the part of the first Chief Manteo 
in the outdoor drama "The Lost Colony." The Overmans moved to Edenton when Cliff was five years 
old. Cliff took piano lessons for about seven years, delivered newspapers and worked on the farm his 
father rented. He played football and baseball and was elected President of his Edenton High School 
Senior Class. He attended N.C. State and Campbell College, each for a year, and sang tenor in the 
Campbell College Choir. 

Ruth Elliott was born in Edenton on April 21,1 936 to Richard Felton and Ruth Holmes Elliott. She has 
one brother, Richard, Jr., who still lives there. Ruth says that her mother tried very hard to keep her from being a tomboy, but that 

72 




she seemed to attract dirt like a magnet and she still prefers going barefoot whenever possible. She took piano lessons three or 
four years and admits frequently waiting until dish-washing time to remember she had not yet practiced her piano. She finished 
the last two years of high school at St. Mary's in Raleigh and attended one year of college there. Dresses, hats and gloves were 
compulsory for church, so Ruth joined the choir in order to go hatless. She later attended Southern Seminary in Buena Vista, 
Virginia for a year and received her Kindergarten Teaching Certificate. 

Both the Elliott and Overman families attended Edenton Baptist Church, although Ruth joined the Episcopal Church when she 
was eleven or twelve. Ruth and Cliff had some classes in school together, and she sat just in front of him in the eighth grade. 
Their very first dates were with each other, and they went to all four Junior-Senior Proms together, even though she was at St 
Mary's the last two years. Ruth played basketball in school; she and Cliff played tennis together, and they enjoyed dancing. 

They were married on July 2, 1956 in Dillon, South Carolina, and they made their home in Newport News, Virginia. Cliff worked 
with American Oil Refining Company in Yorktown and Ruth taught Kindergarten in Newport News. For a time, they lived in 
Roanoke, Virginia where Cliff tried a different line of work before returning to Newport News and American Oil. 

The Overmans have three children and eleven grandchildren: Cliff, Jr., Vice President with Freight Handlers, Inc. of Fuquay 
Varina, is married to Cindy Troxler. They live in Burlington and Cindy is a bank loan and trust officer. Their children are daughters, 
Kelly (20), Jennifer (19), Stephanie (18) and Stacy (15), and son, Wes (16). The Overmans' younger son, Ricky, married Barbara 
Adams of Wilson. They make their home in Rocky Mount, where Ricky is a Certified Public Accountant and Barbara is a part-time 
pharmacist. Their children are Elliott (11) and Samuel (2). When Ruth was expecting their third child, her doctor said it might be 
twins. After the birth, the nurse went to Cliff and told him that both his girls were doing fine, meaning his wife and his new daughter. 
Cliff spent a while thinking they had twin daughters! The Overmans' daughter, Ruth, named for both her grandmothers and her 
mother, is married to Dr. Todd Arensman, a family practitioner. They live in Valdese and have four children, Zachary (6), Allison 
(4), Emily (2) and Hannah, who will be a year old on her Granddaddy Cliffs birthday. Ruth is a homemaker and home-schools the 
children. 

Bob Whiteman, a former member of Wilson First Baptist persuaded Cliff and Ruth to come to Wilson, and Cliff went to work with 
Carolina Fiberglass (later Wallace-Murray) for about five years. He also worked at Blue Magic before being employed by Mello 
Buttercup Ice Cream Company for many years. His retirement is just around the corner at the end of March. He is looking forward 
to playing golf more often than his customary Saturday morning game. Bob and Barbara Whiteman also invited The Overmans to 
First Baptist Church, which they joined soon thereafter in 1973. Ruth says that she has told Barbara Bussey the Overman sons 
favored First Baptist because they thought the Bussey daughters were very attractive. 

Cliff had always sang tenor; however, when he joined the Sanctuary Choir, Clyde Patterson had enough tenors and Cliff has 
sung baritone and bass ever since. Ruth did not join the Sanctuary Choir until after their daughter graduated from high school, 
because she wanted to be available to sit with her children during church. Cliff and Ruth have been in the Bell Choir since it was 
formed. Cliff leads the music for the Adult V Sunday School Assembly and often lends his excellent reading voice in First Baptist 
Church skits and dramas. Last year Cliff was elected to serve another four-year term on the Board of Deacons. Ruth has helped 
with Vacation Bible School in previous years and just recently joined the Senior Adult Choir. 

Three generations of Overmans have been active in Boy Scouts of America. Cliff has been in Scouting most of his life and earned 
his Eagle Scout badge in the Troop where his father was Scoutmaster. Cliff, Jr., and Ricky grew up in Troop 40 in Newport News 
where Cliff was Scoutmaster, as well as Scouting Commissioner. Cliff, Sr., having been Scoutmaster of Troop, volunteered to 
become Assistant Scoutmaster with Lou Craig after the death of former Scoutmaster, Dr. Lewis Lee. 

Ruth was a reading tutor in Wilson County Schools until 1991 and then a teacher assistant at the Elm City Elementary School 
until her retirement last May. Her hobbies are needlework and crafts. At the present time she is making ABC collage books for 
grandchildren Emily and Samuel, similar to the ones she made for some of the older children when they were very young. Ruth 
is also taking piano again, this time from Olinda Camden. She is a long-time volunteer at the Wilson Crisis Center, volunteering 
during her career after work and on Sunday afternoons. Ruth is one of those caring people who "stays in touch with everybody" 
and sends occasion cards of all kinds to friends, relatives, even former students and others who find the cards meaningful. 

Many complimentary words have been said about the Overmans: "resourceful and helpful, thoughtful and concerned, gracious 
and hospitable, willing and accommodating, and faithful and dependable. " Ruth and Cliff Overman are truly a great blessing to 
First Baptist Church and certainly qualify as "Earth Angels. " 



73 




Charlie Owens 
"The Senior Scene" June 2002 

How many people do you know who keep their photograph albums and scrapbooks up to date? Of 
those, how many are men? Charlie Owens has seventeen albums and books, so far, and says that 
keeping them is an ongoing project. 

Charlie Ray Owens was born April 24, 1933 to William Bernard and Julia Smith Owens in Perry 
County, Kentucky, and when he was only three or four months old, his family moved to Powellton, 
West Virginia. He was the thirteenth of fourteen children, although his mother lost two of those in 
miscarriages during the 1918 influenza epidemic. Of the other seven boys and five girls, an older 
brother died while serving in the Marine Corp during World War II. His father was a coal miner and 
his mother a homemaker. She was quiet and unassuming, not outspoken, but had a strong faith and 
was a "praying woman." Charlie credits his mother with being the "glue" that held his large family 
together, and he feels influenced positively by his sisters, particularly his middle sister. He liked 
sports but says he was not a good athlete, and he claims to have been bashful, especially around girls. 

When he was about ten during the war years, the family moved to Bogalusa, Louisiana and Charlie described the years there as 
the most stabilizing time of his life. He became a Boy Scout where he first tried to learn the alphabet in sign language. In college, 
he saw a young man sign "I love you" to a young lady, although at the time Charlie did not know what the sign meant. These 
incidents and viewing signing at a Baptist Student Union Convention were seeds planted, he thinks, for his chosen vocation of 
teaching the deaf. 

After graduating from Bogalusa High School, he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree at Louisiana College in Pineville, working 
his way through by sweeping and mopping floors, washing dishes and other kitchen chores. After graduation he then earned his 
Bachelor of Divinity degree at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, where he took a sign language course among his many 
other studies. 

Charlie met his former wife, Joy, during his freshman your at Louisiana College and attended her Baptist Church nearby. They 
married and had two sons, David and Mark. After Seminary, they lived in Staunton, Virginia, where he taught at Virginia School 
for Deaf and Blind for eight years. In 1968 when Mark was five years old, Charlie applied to the Deaf Education Graduate School 
at The University of Tennessee in Knoxville. His plans were confirmed when, in the course of only one day, he was accepted in 
Grad School, Joy was employed to teach, and they found University housing, a triple blessing! 

Charlie and his family moved to Wilson in 1969 and he began teaching young students at Eastern North Carolina School for the 
Deaf. He later taught many different subjects to high school students after their high school curriculum was added. He retired from 
ENCSD in 1995 after teaching a total of thirty-five years. 

Having grown up as a Southern Baptist, he always looked for the closest Baptist Church whenever he moved to a new town. So 
he and his family joined First Baptist in September 1969. Finding a new Church immediately and other strict "rules" of long ago 
regarding alcoholic beverages, dancing, playing cards, etc., Charlie calls "prohibitions of the Bible Belt." He says that during his 
young years his family did play recreational cards, but that his mother didn't believe in going to movies until "God Is My Copilot" 
came out during World War II and she went to see it. His mother and father died in 1960 when Charlie was thirty-three. 

His son, David and wife, Dianne live in Fayetteville, North Carolina, where they are preparing to be missionaries to Guatemala. 
Mark and his wife Susan live in Columbus, Ohio, and he is employed with Furniture City. Mark has given Charlie one granddaughter 
and four step-grandsons. 

Charlie is active in Sunday School, Church, Baptist Men, is a former Deacon and served as Secretary of the Deacon Board. 
He has volunteered with Habitat, Flood Relief and has chopped lots of wood for distribution to the needy. Ongoing projects are 
helping to paint the new Free Will Baptist Church in Tarboro and working with Mack Moore and Bill Watson .on houses in Grifton 
that were flooded during Hurricane Floyd. He has been a Boy Scout leader and interprets for the hearing impaired wherever he is 
needed. He is a former member of the Breakfast Optimists and has helped with their Christmas tree, candy and advertising sales. 

Besides keeping his photo albums and scrapbooks, Charlie enjoys using computers, reading, traveling and taking courses at 
Wilson Technical Community College. He is learning digital photography and has taken courses in woodworking and Spanish, 
which may come in handy when he visits David and Dianne if and when they are accepted for a four-year missionary tour in 
Guatemala. 

One of Charlie's most fascinating hobbies is creating miniatures. He photographs regular product boxes of all kinds in color, 
reduces them to matchbox size and then cuts and forms them to make the miniatures. Among his woodworking projects are a 
chain with his initials carved in block letters at the top (all from a solid piece of wood), a small lamp with a little railroad coal car 

74 




on a short train track, and an engraved plaque in memory of his sons' maternal grandfather who was a Missouri Pacific railroad 
employee for many years. It is a gift for Mark and Susan on Charlie's upcoming visit with them. 

Charlie also spends time exercising on a treadmill and two other exercise machines in his home. He confesses he is no gourmet 
chef and eats out as often as he eats in. 

When he was in his fifties and working part-time at the Bowling Alley on Ward Boulevard, he had to climb inside the pin-setting 
machine. Once, he had his head close to the ball return ramp and a ball rolled down, hitting him on the head, requiring a few 
stitches and leaving a permanent scar just above his eye. 

Apparently having inherited "quiet and unassuming ways" from his mother, Charlie Owens is a very interesting person with a 
good sense of humor. He is patient, disciplined, very creative and busy with one project or another. He is known to be honest, 
capable and dependable, concerned about others and willing to do anything to help anyone. He is a dedicated Christian, a man 
who stands up for his beliefs. 

Harvey and Harriet Page 
"The Senior Scene" August 2002 

It was puppy love when she was only thirteen and he was fifteen! She spent a lot of time at the 
Wilson Recreation Swimming Pool on Raleigh Road, and he frequented the pool almost every 
day. 

Having a lot in common most likely helped seal the bond. When she was four years old her family 
broke apart and she went to stay with her aunt and uncle for two weeks. She ended up staying 
permanently, and her aunt and uncle became her Mother and Daddy. The fifteen year-old lost his 
mother who died when he was only eighteen months old and he was raised by his oldest sister. 
The sweethearts grew up within a few blocks of each other. 

Theirs were blended families before the term became common in today's society. She has two 
younger biological brothers. Her adoptive parents had one son who was six years older than she, 
and they became as close as any brother and sister could be. Her soul mate has one sister and 
one brother ... and TEN half sisters and brothers, making a total of thirteen children in his family. 

Harvey Page was born in Wilson on November 16, 1939, a year and a half before Harriett Ann Moore's birth on March 27, 1941 
in Rocky Mount. His was the last class to graduate from Charles L. Coon High School in 1958; hers was the first class out of 
Fike High School in 1959. Harriett's parents are Edna Ruth and Pete Thompson, long-time members of First Baptist. Harriett's 
biological brother, Jim Moore, is also a member of our church, as is Pete Thompson, Jr. Mr. and Mrs. Thompson live in a lovely 
apartment attached to the beautiful, colorful and comfortable home of their daughter on Brookside Drive, which was featured on 
the First Baptist Church Homes Tour several years ago. Harriett's artistic talents and decorating taste shine cheerfully throughout 
the interior. 

Harriett was raised in First Baptist at Nash and Pine Streets and was eleven years old when she participated in the congregation's 
well known walk from the old church to the present location. Harriett sang in the Youth Choir and took part in Baptist Training 
Union and other activities. She was baptized in the new sanctuary in 1954. 

Harvey's father, Russell Mark Page, was the first Alcoholic Beverage Control officer in North Carolina and was later Chief of 
Police in several small area towns. They were living in Stantonsburg when Harvey was born; his mother was the former Dollie 
Mae Yelverton. Harvey attended the Catholic School on Bragg Street in Wilson. On the way to school he would often eat his lunch 
and then tell the Nuns that his family did not have any food at home. Naturally the compassionate ladies would take him to the 
convent and feed him. He would also pick flowers from other people's yards on the way to school and give them to the Nuns. He 
completed his elementary education at Margaret Hearne School on Maplewood Avenue. 

After graduation from high school, Harvey joined the Marine Corps and served in the Military Police. He and Harriett were married 
on March 28, 1959 just before her graduation and set up housekeeping in Hawaii, courtesy of the U. S. Marine Corps. He once 
guarded President Dwight Eisenhower for seventy-two hours without rest. 

Two weeks before their wedding Harvey confessed his faith in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour at a First Baptist Wednesday 
night prayer meeting and was baptized that very night in the sanctuary baptistry. 

When Harriett and Harvey returned home after his military service, he joined the Wilson Police Department. While on- the police 
force, he came in contact with several famous people including President Lyndon Johnson and Governor George Wallace of 

75 



Alabama. Harvey also was on duty during Jimmy Carter's campaign for President when he visited Wilson and the security 
command center was set up at First Baptist Church. With his four years military police experience, his career of serving the 
public in law enforcement totaled forty years. He retired twelve years ago for all of two weeks before being employed by Wilson 
Memorial Hospital as Director of Security and Safety, where he still works full-time. 

Harriett helped form the Wilson Police Department Auxiliary, the organization of policemen's wives whose main objective was to 
help support the department. She worked in the Wilson County School system as an elementary tutorial aide until Harvey was 
promoted to Captain. She then turned to marketing her sewing and appliqued clothing. Before Harriett entered first grade, her 
Mom taught her to thread a needle and Harriett learned to sew making doll clothes. She has sewn a large variety of creations ever 
since, including clothes for her daughters and granddaughters, her specialty being appliqued items of her own design or made to 
order. She has had as many as twelve showings a year in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia to market her sales. She 
says that her family comes first and then her handwork. She agrees that God gives everyone different talents and that she really 
enjoys doing needlework. 

Harriett and Harvey have two daughters, Eles who was born in Hawaii, and Cathy, born in Wilson. Both girls grew up in First 
Baptist, participated in Sunday School and various other activities and were baptized in their teens. Eles is married to Rodney 
Skinner and their daughter, Charity Ruth, followed her mother's and grandmother's footsteps to membership in First Baptist while 
a teenager. Charity Ruth is a 2002 Fike High School graduate and a rising freshman at Louisburg College. She was recently 
notified that she is the first third generation graduate from Fike. 

Cathy is married to Randy Daniel, also a First Baptist member, and their daughter, Catherine-Lee is a rising junior at Hunt High 
School and was baptized in 1999. Cathy and Eles have recently opened a new business on Airport Boulevard called La-d-da, but 
they refer to it as a "fun store." Since Eles and Cathy apparently inherited their mother's artistic talent, the shop is stocked with 
lots of hand-made items, from the girls' paintings and Harriett's appliqued items to linens, jewelry, home accessories and items 
for pets and babies. More than likely, you will find three generations of female Pages running the store at one time or another. 

In earlier years, Harriett volunteered in the church nursery, keeping babies and one-year olds, worked with Girls' Auxiliary and 
now is responsible for one month's Senior Adult luncheon. She has served on many committees, including the Decorating, 
Worship and Flower Committees and has been a member of Baptist Women (WMU) for years. 

Harriett and Harvey are devoted to each other and to their family. They are a close-knit, hard-working family. It is said they are 
wonderful parents and very involved in their daughters' and granddaughters' daily lives, as well as her parents'. Harriett is known 
to be down-to-earth, thoughtful and willing to do anything to help others; she radiates good will with her ready smile and she has 
a sweet and outgoing personality. 

Joe and Rachel Parker 
"The Senior Scene" April 2003 

Rachel Elizabeth Britt was born September 1 5, 1 927 to Van D. and Nannie Pittman Britt of Elm City. 
She was the second of five children, one of whom was born prematurely and died when only a few 
weeks old. She has more recently lost a brother, Johnnie Britt, and a sister, Ellen B. Pittman. Rachel 
and her remaining sister, Allie B. Jones, enjoy a very close, loving relationship. 

Rachel graduated from Elm City High School in 1944 and Atlantic Christian College in 1947 with 
a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. She was a Social Worker (Protective Services Worker for 
Children and Adults) for Wilson County Social Services for thirty years before retiring in 1987. 

Rachel and her first husband, Albert Walston, were classmates in Elm City. He served in the Navy 
while she was in college. They married in 1 947 and lived in Wilson; however, their marriage broke up 
before the birth of their third child. For fifteen years she was the single working mother of Rebecca, 
Terry and Dale. She sewed her own clothes and most of her daughters' until girls everywhere started wearing blue jeans. 

Rachel's friend, Eloise Register, just happened to have her brother, Joseph "Joe" Delton Parker, with her on several occasions 
when she invited Rachel to go to events such as an auction or a church supper. Joe had served in the Army and Air Force for eight 
years, then was employed as a civilian at Lowry Air Force Base in Denver, Colorado before retiring and coming to Wilson in 1974. 
Rachel said that Joe was a quiet, sweet, kind and gentle person. Rachel's father liked Joe very much and was happy when they 
decided to marry. Unfortunately, her father died unexpectedly and. was buried the day before their wedding in February 1975. 
Joe was forty-seven years old and delighted to have an extended family. He was a loving husband, father and grandfather to the 
family, and they loved and appreciated him. 

Rachel said that the best part of her life began with meeting and marrying Joe. He grew up on a farm in Duplin County and 

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enjoyed planting, yard work, and "playing in the dirt, but not enough to want to farm again." He did everything to the very best of 
his ability and took pride in his family, in his work as a meatcutter, and around his home and yard. After their retirement, Rachel 
and Joe enjoyed traveling in the U.S. and Canada, often with John and Martha Ann Pittman, who have been their good friends 
since they first met at First Baptist. Rachel and Joe had a sad start when they married, but enjoyed twenty-seven years of 
happiness together. Joe died last May after a long illness, during which time Rachel was his loving caregiver. 

Three seems to be her lucky number-three children, three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Rebecca "Becky" is 
married to Joseph "Joe" T. Davis and works as an Elementary School Media Specialist in Greenville where they live. Joe (brother 
of First Baptist member Glenyce Pridgen) is employed as Bookkeeper at Greenville Country-Club. Their children are Trade 
Davis Ange (28) and Matthew Davis (25). Tracie is employed in her father-in-law's firm, Carolina Office Equipment Company in 
Wilmington. Her husband, Todd Ange, is a respiratory care therapist. They have two children, Karson (6) and Wade (4). Trade's 
brother, Matthew, is employed in a Greenville hardware store. He and Vivian "Dee Dee" live in Washington, North Carolina and 
are the parents of Rachel's youngest great-grandson, Ethan Joseph Davis, born in November 2002. 

Prior to Becky and Joe's wedding, Rachel took a week's vacation from work to make Becky's wedding gown-no easy task. When 
the girls started dating, Rachel would wait up for them and started her hobby of doing different kinds of embroidery needlework. 
Many beautiful framed needlework pictures and samplers decorate her lovely home. 

Rachel's middle child, Terry, is a commuting Patient Access Service Coordinator at a medical clinic in Greenville. She is married 
to Richie Pridgen, a Physical Education teacher and football and wrestling coach at Fike High School. They live in Wilson and are 
members of First Baptist Church. Their daughter, Tina (19); is a sophomore at UNC- Wilmington. 

Dale is employed as a Draftsman Mechanical Engineer at Bow Industries in Manassas, Virginia. Dale's wife, Debbie, is Manager 
of Customer Support in the Virginia office of Members Inc in Reston, Virginia. Dale is an avid hunter and fisherman and they 
reside in Haymarket, Virginia. 

Rachel was sprinkled in baptism at the Methodist Church in Elm City. After moving to Wilson, Rachel and her family attended 
Five Points Missionary Baptist Church. At a time when the church was in the process of building and had no baptistry, Rachel 
was immersed at First Baptist Church and became a member of Five Points Baptist. It is very meaningful to Rachel that she was 
actually baptized at First Baptist. Each of her three children confessed Christ as his or her Saviour and all joined Five Points 
Missionary Baptist when they were eight years of age. Rachel said that if Becky had been sitting beside her the day she walked 
down the aisle, she would probably have held her back; but the Pastor later assured Rachel he had counseled with Becky and 
she knew the significance of what she was doing. Dale, at age eight, asked Rachel about joining the church, and she invited the 
Pastor and Assistant Pastor to her home to talk with him. They confirmed that he was quite ready. 

Each of her daughters was married in the Five Points Church, as were Joe and Rachel. Joe moved his membership from a Baptist 
Church in Rose Hill, North Carolina. After they moved to Wilshire Boulevard, they attended First Baptist and Joe persuaded 
Rachel that it was time to change their membership from Five Points to First Baptist, which they did in September 1977. Rachel 
taught Sunday School and kept the nursery at Five Points and served as an officer in Sunday School and WMU (Baptist Women) 
at both churches. At First Baptist she is Secretary of the Fidelis Class, a past Treasurer and current member of the Senior Adult 
Council, has volunteered in the Church Office and has served on the Baptism, Greeters and Memorial Committees. 

In the community, Rachel served as a member of the first Housing Authority Board, helped organize the still active Community 
Council, served on its board, as well as eight years on the board of Crimestoppers. She is a volunteer with American Cancer 
Society and former volunteer with the Red Cross, Social Services and Hope Station. 

In her spare time, Rachel especially enjoys reading, family gatherings and traveling with the Senior Adult Earth Angels. Her 
sewing, knitting and needlework no longer pose a priority. 

Her maternal grandparents' descendents, the Webbs and Pittmans (no relation to friend-Martha Ann and John), meet for breakfast 
about every six weeks. They usually meet at a restaurant on the comer in Macclesfield where Richie's grandparents reared their 
large family. They enjoy eating and fellowshipping all morning until the restaurant starts preparing for lunch customers. The 
Macclesfield Cemetery is built on former Pittman land, and Rachel's great uncle was the first person buried there. Maccripines 
Country Club is also on what was originally Pittman land, but it was no longer owned by her family when it was sold to the Club. 
By being from Macclesfield, Richie had something extra going for him when he married Terry. 

One person described Rachel Parker as "everything good." She truly is a lovely lady-thoughtful, kind and caring, patient and 
gentle, sweet-natured, a faithful friend and devoted Christian. (Joe 5/22/02) 



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Clyde and Dorothy Patterson 
"The Senior Scene" March 2000 

There's no doubt that music brought them together, even though they were born and grew up many 
miles apart. She was born February 16, 1939 in Rogersville, Tennessee to Dr. Charles and Theresa 
Maddox Johnson, the second of three daughters. Her father was a general practitioner and her 
mother a registered nurse. 

She studied piano from third grade through college and played the flute from sixth grade through 
high school. When she was in eighth grade, she played in the State Piano competition held at 
Peabody College in Nashville, Tennessee and tied for first place. She played for her church from 
eighth grade through high school and studied organ from the last year at high school through college. 
In the summers, she studied at Sherwood Music School in Chicago, Illinois, where she later went to 
college. While in college she often played piano at the Handicapped Hospital for Children. 

On her train trip to enter college with her roommate she noticed a nice-looking young man sitting 
right in front of them. Once they got to Sherwood Music School Campus, she said, "There's that guy we saw on the train." It was 
a small school, so everybody got to know everybody else. "That guy" was William Clyde Patterson, an Organ Major with a very 
good reputation, who was two years ahead of Dorothy Lucille Johnson. 

Clyde was born in Siler City, North Carolina on April 25, 1937, the third of six children, five boys and one girl. His parents were 
Joseph and Edna Patterson, both from farming backgrounds. His father was a feed salesman for Siler City Mills, and they moved 
to a farm three miles from town when Clyde was five or six years old. His mother, now 87 years old, still lives there and looks 
forward to her beloved son's weekly overnight visits to help take care of her. As a small youngster, Clyde was fascinated by the 
pump organ in his great-grandmother's parlor. He remembers "standing on the bellow pedals and pumping as hard as he could, 
stretching up to hold the keys down to hear the wonderful sound." At his great-grandmother's death, the organ was given to Clyde, 
and his mother taught him a few tunes by ear. He began the study of piano in the fifth grade with the same blind teacher his mother 
studied with briefly as a young girl. As soon as he could play hymns, he began playing for services at their small country church, 
encouraged by the church pianist (who was quite elderly and needed a replacement). By early high school, Clyde developed 
an interest in the organ, the Hammond organ in particular. Someone gave him a recording of Ethel Smith at the Hammond, and 
Clyde "wore out the grooves listening to it." He had graduated to a new piano teacher, who was also organist at First Baptist 
Church in Siler City, and she "introduced him to the mysteries of the pipe organ there." His small country church bought a spinet 
Hammond his junior year in high school, and he "was indeed in musical heaven." They even paid him a small stipend to play. 

Upon high school graduation in 1955, he went to the BIG CITY of Chicago to study at Sherwood Music School, continuing to 
play the church organ there. He worked his way through four years of college by working in the school office and stockroom. 
He also worked as an usher at Orchestra Hall for concerts of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. After graduation, Clyde spent 
two years in graduate studies in church music at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey. Instead of spending his 
summer vacation break in Siler City, he went back to Chicago to be near Dorothy. Clyde and Dorothy saw quite a bit of each 
other, especially during Clyde's senior year. For the graduation ceremony, Clyde was chosen to play in Orchestra Hall (a very high 
honor) and played the Poulenc Concerto with members of both the Sherwood Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony. 

Unknown to him, when Clyde graduated from Westminster, his roommate and other friends gathered the money for Dorothy to 
fly to Princeton to hear his graduate recital. They hid her out in the girls' dormitory and in the balcony during the concert, and she 
surprised him after the recital. He says he would have been a nervous wreck if he had known she was there! Dorothy graduated 
from Sherwood Music School, returned to Rogersville and taught public school music for one year. In the meantime, Clyde took 
his first church music position in Kernersville, North Carolina, and together they made plans for their wedding on June 23, 1 962. 
After a honeymoon trip back to Chicago, they made their home in Kernersville, where Dorothy began to teach private piano 
lessons. 

After two years, they moved to Greenwood, Mississippi, and Clyde assumed the position of Minister of Music and Organist at 
the First Baptist Church. Dorothy began teaching piano and "soon had a fall slate of students." Their first child, Marie, was born 
there in August of 1965. Even though an aunt of Dorothy's lived in Greenwood, it wasn't long before Dorothy and Clyde wanted 
to be nearer home, but "finding a Baptist church with the combination of Minister of Music and Organist was somewhat difficult." 
It took a while until they found Madison Avenue Baptist Church in Goldsboro and moved there, where their son, Paul, was born 
November of 1968. 

When Madison Avenue Church began plans for a new sanctuary and a new organ, they heard of the new Rogers Pipe Organ 
being installed at First Baptist Church in Wilson, so Clyde came for a visit. He had also heard of our job opening, but was not 
interested at that time. However, after seeing the church and the new organ, he changed his mind! Lewis and Jennie Lee visited 
Madison Avenue Church to "scout" Clyde; and, as the old saying goes, "The rest is history." Clyde began his ministry of music with 
us in January of 1970, and our members joyously helped him celebrate his thirtieth anniversary recently. 

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The family moved to Wilson in April 1970, and Dorothy again began teaching private piano lessons. Soon thereafter, she was 
asked to play the organ at Ascension Lutheran Church near their home. Later the choir director moved away and she assumed 
those duties as well. Marie lives in Greenville and works for a pharmaceutical firm. Paul works for Merrill Lynch in Winston-Salem 
and is married to the former Dawn Wiggins, a registered nurse from Rocky Mount. On December 27, 1999, they presented 
Dorothy and Clyde with a grandson named William Paul. Dorothy and Clyde were there when it happened, and Marie and Dorothy 
recently returned from a visit. Of course, these proud first-time grandparents will happily show little Paul's pictures to anyone who 
asks. 

Clyde is a member of the American Guild of Organists and both Clyde and Dorothy belong to the Church Musicians Guild. They 
are former members of the Singing Churchmen and the Singing Churchwomen, groups who sing for the Baptist State Convention. 
Dorothy continues to teach piano at home, making a total of 38 years' experience. She belongs to the Rocky Mount and Wilson 
Piano Teachers Association. She is active in Baptist women and Senior Adults. She sings whenever she can with our Sanctuary 
Choir in cantatas and evening programs. She has been in the Handbell Choir and is currently practicing with them, hoping to 
participate in the Handbell Festival at Virginia Beach in April. She has sometimes played our organ, and she and Clyde once gave 
a duet organ concert in our church. The Senior Adults depend on Clyde for one or two programs each year, and he and Dorothy 
recently entertained us with piano duets, as well as solos. 

Dorothy used to volunteer by feeding patients at Avante until her mother came to live with them and needed full-time care for 
several years until her death. Dorothy loves to play cards and enjoys her Canasta Club. She also enjoys taking care of Fred, their 
fourteen-year-old Spitz, who insists on being wherever she is in the house, even sleeping under the piano while she teaches. 

Clyde enjoys taking the Handbell, Youth and Senior Adult Choirs to Various competitions. More than one Sanctuary Choir member 
has said that he is truly a "man of faith" because when they feel unready and unprepared for an anthem in worship service, Clyde 
will tell them they are ready, not to worry and everything will be fine. He then "pulls it all together and it WORKS!" He has spent 
many, many hours planning for and obtaining the most capable and reputable people to make the now-necessary repairs to our 
organ. Clyde has been with First Baptist Church of Wilson longer than any other staff member and has literally "held the Church 
together" when we were very short of staff. He is more than a Minister of Music and Organist, filling a ministerial role of his own. 
He is available to anyone most any time. He seems to know everything about the "inside workings" of the Church, and it has been 
said many times, "If you have a problem or need to know anything, just ask Clyde." He is most competent, a master at his work, 
managing each week to come up with fresh ideas and presentations that please and inspire all age groups. Bill Bussey, Clyde's 
"boss" for many years, said "Clyde has a lot of good religion, he is an excellent musician; and when working in a church that is a 
good combination to have." 

It is very obvious that Clyde Patterson loves our Lord and Savior, our Church, our congregation as individuals and his career as 
a musician. Dorothy and Clyde Patterson are among the best blessings that ever happened to First Baptist Church of Wilson. 

Kathleen Patterson 
"The Senior Scene" October 1997 

"A cow, a calf and a piece of red cloth" --that's what one of her ancestors paid the Shawnee Indians for 
land to build on in Winchester, Virginia. That was a long time before Kathleen Elmore was born near 
Mount Olive, North Carolina, to Edward Robert and Liffie Forester Elmore. After Kathleen's maternal 
grandfather died, the family moved to North Wilkesboro to live with her grandmother. That is where 
Kathleen entered first grade in 1913. When she was in the sixth grade, they moved to Waynesville 
and, a year later, to Mars Hill. There Kathleen and her three sisters were widely known as "the Elmore 
girls." Kathleen attended two years of high school and two years of college at Mars Hill College, where 
she was on the first debate team. She also became known for her scholastic and acting abilities, as 
well as her punctuality. After graduating from Mars Hill, she taught at Weaverville College during the 
summer before entering the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She was among the first group 
of women to live on campus, where she performed with the Carolina Playmakers. Kathleen graduated 
in 1927 with a major in Romance Languages. 

During college, Kathleen often visited her cousin in Rocky Mount, where she met and dated a young man named Francis 
Patterson. Upon learning that he was also dating a friend of hers, Kathleen broke off the relationship. He kept trying to win her 
back and for three years sent her the same Valentine, which she promptly returned to him each time. During this time, Kathleen 
finished college and obtained a job teaching Spanish in Wilmington, where some of her students were older than she. She later 
moved to Hickory to teach and in order to be nearer her home. 

In 1934, she resumed dating Francis and they were married in August, 1935, in the garden of her Mars Hill home. After 
honeymooning in the Tennessee mountains, they settled in Rocky Mount, where "Pat" was Milk Sanitarian for the City. While 
living there, Kathleen taught Spanish in Smyrna, Battleboro and Rocky Mount. In 1945, they moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where 

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Pat worked with Sealtest Dairies. Their daughter, Sarah, was born in Atlanta, but while she was still a toddler, they returned to 
North Carolina to live in Lucama. Kathleen then taught in Micro, Goldsboro and Wilson. Pat worked with the Milk Division of the 
N. C. Department of Agriculture and later became Director, which necessitated his commuting to Raleigh during the week. 

Coming from a Baptist background (her grandfather was a Baptist minister and founded the First Baptist Church of North 
Wilkesboro), Kathleen and Francis became active in First Baptist Church of Wilson. They especially wanted Sarah to attend Mrs. 
Mattie Moss's Kindergarten Sunday School Class. (Kathleen had taught Kindergarten Sunday School in Wilmington.) Kathleen 
became active in WMU and Francis became a very devoted deacon in FBC. While on the deacon board, he proposed home 
communion for people unable to attend church; unfortunately, this practice was not implemented until recent years. 

Kathleen taught Spanish in many different places for a total of 39 years, 27 of them in Wilson. She began with three classes 
and ended with seventeen. Among her Wilsonian mentors were Cora Blackburn, George Willard and Roscoe Eller. She, in turn 
influenced many young people in high ideals, good character and sound values, according to letters she received from former 
students and teachers. 

After Kathleen's retirement, she and Sarah traveled extensively. They were held up at gunpoint on a train in Russia; they had a 
dirt floor in the Arctic Circle; they rode donkeys in Greece and buses around hairpin curves in Alaska and Italy; and they stayed 
in a Youth Hostel in Switzerland. The joy and pride of Kathleen's life has been her devoted daughter, Sarah, who decided to go 
to Law School after her father died. When Sarah successfully ran for District Court judge, Kathleen was Sarah's most ardent 
campaigner, going door to door and putting up a giant share of Sarah's campaign signs. Kathleen and Sarah not only enjoy 
each other's company traveling together, working together, helping each other; they are very close friends as well as mother and 
daughter. Kathleen Elmore Patterson, THIS IS YOUR LIFE! (2/27/07) 

Braxton and Rosa Pittman 
"The Senior Scene" October 1996 

They were born only one mile apart in Johnston County. She was one of four girls and six boys, and he 
had only a sister. They attended the same schools, Stancil's Chapel Elementary and Glendale High near 
Kenly, although he graduated earlier than she. They and their families attended the same church. 

He tells the story that when they were young teenagers and both working on neighboring tobacco farms, 
one of his friends told him he should date her because she was such a good, hard worker in tobacco. He 
grins as if to tease her that this was the only reason he began dating her. After high school, she graduated 
from Hardbarger's Business School in Raleigh. They went together about three years and were engaged 
for six months before getting married while he was on a three-day pass from Camp Atterbury, Indiana. 
(This is near Franklin, the home of Dr. William Spencer, who would later be her obstetrician in Wilson.) 
After his service in the U.S. Army, she earned her PHT (Put Hubby Through) degree by working at 
Wachovia for three and a half years while he got his degree in Agricultural Economics at N.C. State. Their 
favorite pastime is spending time with their eight grandchildren, who range in age from one to nine. Each 
child's picture is in an 8" x 10" frame proudly displayed in their family room, spilling from the mantle to a 
nearby table. Elsewhere are group pictures of each- of their three children's families. 

Braxton and Rosa Creech Pittman's children grew up in First Baptist of Wilson. Their elder son Don and wife, Janet, have a son 
and daughter. He is the Soil Conservationist for Wilson County and they live in Black Creek, although they have a Wilson address. 
Their daughter, Pamela married Steven Parker and they live in Covington, Virginia. They have three sons and a daughter. Pamela 
is a homemaker. Their son, Greg and his wife, Elena live in Hopewell, Virginia, with their two sons. Greg is an engineer at a 
television station in Richmond. Greg was named for Rosa's oldest brother, who died in infancy. The Pittmans readily admit that 
the pride and joy of their lives are their three children and eight grandchildren. Evidence of time spent with them is shown by the 
high chair at the kitchen table, several small-wheeled toys under the carport and the swing set in the back yard. 

Braxton also enjoys fishing, gardening and traveling, preferably to the mountains. Rosa enjoys needlework, especially cross- 
stitch (although she finds little time for it now and traveling) preferably to the ocean. This summer all 13 enjoyed a family vacation 
at the beach. Over 100 extended family members attend the annual Creech family reunion. 

While Braxton was in Germany for a year with the Army, Rosa worked with Branch Banking and Trust Company, commuting the 
20 miles to her parents' home. She later worked with the Wilson Chamber of Commerce for 20 years, staying home during the 
summers with the children. Now she enjoys her part-time job with First Union two days a week. 

Braxton was employed in Farm Management and Trust Real Estate with BB&T for 35 years. He now works part-time with the 
Department of Agriculture (three or four months a year) as an enumerator. He is also an agricultural consultant and manages a 
few farms. Braxton is a member and past president of the N.C. Society of Fann Managers and Rural Appraisers, who honored 

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him as Outstanding Farm Manager some years ago. For about 25 years, he has been re-elected one of five supervisors for the 
Wilson County Soil and Water Conservation District. Braxton is a long-time volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America, previously 
serving as District Chairman and a Troop 8 Committeeman, sponsored by First Baptist. He has been honored with the BSA Silver 
Beaver and the Good Shepherd awards. He is also a member of the Evening Optimist Club, while Rosa belongs to the Golden 
Circle Optimist Club. Rosa also volunteers at Hope Station and Meals on Wheels. 

They have been active members of First Baptist for nearly 40 years. Rosa is a WMU Group Leader, has worked in the Sunday 
School Nursery, has served on the Library and Hospitality Committees, has been President of her Sunday School Class and at 
one time was a Den Mother for Cub Scout Pack 8 in this church. Braxton is currently finishing one of many terms as a Deacon, 
is a past Sunday School Superintendent, past vice-president of the Brotherhood, Sunday School teacher, Class President and 
has also served on many committees, including Ushers, Greeters and Hospitality. Rosa and Braxton Pittman are concerned and 
faithful members, willing to speak up with suggestions for bettering the church and to keep their committments to serve God 
through their love for the church family and their ongoing support of First Baptist Church. (Braxton 1/1/08) 

Florence Pittman 
"The Senior Scene" March 1994 

Florence Pittman was born June 25, (she is happy to add the year), 1915 in Scotland Neck, NC to a "very 
strong Baptist family." After graduating from Meredith College in Raleigh, she went to summer school 
in Greensboro and worked at Rex Hospital in Raleigh almost a year. Then she went to Indiana Medical 
Center in Indianapolis. After twelve months of dietetic training, she became a Registered Dietitian with the 
American Dietetic Association. From there, she went to Jackson, Mississippi and worked at a tuberculosis 
sanatorium near there for three years, becoming Head Dietitian after a year. 

With encouragement from her father and a desire to return to North Carolina to be nearer her family, 

Florence contacted McCain Hospital and was interviewed by Dr. Herman Easom. During her summer 

vacation, she had one month's training at McCain for a job as Dietitian for the as-yet-unfinished Eastern 

North Carolina Sanatorium in Wilson. One month after her arrival in Wilson, the Staff was notified that the 

Army would take over the Sanatorium. Because of World War II, there was a severe shortage of equipment 

and supplies. For six or seven months, she and other employees, including Kathryn and Herman Easom, 

Ann and Vance Macy, C.C. Moss and Ike McAnulty had quarters in the unfinished building. They worked 

6 1/2 days each week for along time before going on a 40-hour workweek. Even then, loving her work as she did, Florence 

frequently chose to work weekends so people with families could be together. Florence and Nell Smith, the Director of Nursing, 

roomed together. With gas rationing and bad roads, traveling from "town" to the Sanatorium was difficult and best made by taxi. 

Florence eventually bought a car on the condition that the dealer would teach her to drive. Kathryn Easom said that Florence is 
more like a sister to her than a friend. The Staff experienced a bonding like a family. Eastern North Carolina Sanatorium built a 
reputation for excellent patient care and delicious food. Susan Little, a former employee of the Sanatorium and a friend of Florence, 
said that Florence influenced her to become a permanent employee, for which she is grateful. She said that Florence was a 
wonderful teacher with lots of patience and perseverance, and that she always strived for quality and perfection. Furthermore, 
Susan said that Florence is always helpful to those around her and just "fun to be with." 

Later, because of a change of State administration, the number of patients suddenly increased from 200 to 600. There was 
constant change with renovations and additions. Until her early retirement, Florence said her "work was her life." After retirement, 
she went into dietetic consulting work, mostly with nursing homes. 

Florence joined First Baptist Church in 1945, while Dr. Ellis was Pastor. Because of her work schedule, she became more active 
in Church activities after the Baucoms were called. Letha Baucom recruited Florence as a Young Women's Auxiliary leader. 
She remembers working with Ag Brunt and that Jane Grissom and Jane Mylum were among YWA members. Florence now 
shares a home with her niece, Amy Hughes, Amy's husband Randy, and daughters Alex, 13 months, and Susan Kitchen, 11. 
Florence enjoys cooking, gardening, reading and TV. She enjoyed traveling until a terrible hospital experience out West. You may 
remember reading about that in Senior Scene Scenario no vacation at all may be preferable to one like my economy bus tour to 
Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons and the Grand Canyon. Here is a partial list of the mishaps I encountered: A cancelled plane flight, 
delays because of crew problems and severe storms, a missing travel companion who was missing only on the hotel register, a 
case of skin rash diagnosed by one doctor as poison ivy and by another as scabies — you know, the old time school itch — , which 
stayed with me the whole trip; temperatures which ranged from 40 degrees to 114 degrees; accommodations from log cabins to 
luxury hotels; and a day in bed with a severe cold. But, the worst mishap was an encounter with a gloom and doom doctor in Las 
Vegas to whom I was assigned after being brought to the Emergency Room from the airport with severe nausea. His greeting 
was, 'What in the world is an old woman like you doing on a long bus tour when you probably have pneumonia, diabetes, high 
blood pressure, a high fever from no telling what, a hot gall bladder, and exhaustion? All these things were disproved, except the 
gall bladder, which he insisted must be removed immediately. It did not help that I had checked my luggage on to Raleigh and had 

81 




insisted that my travel companion take our flight according to our original plan. Five days later, after many bottles of antibiotics 
and IV fluids, I felt well enough to ignore his admonition, that I would surely have to have emergency surgery on the way home, 
and I left the hospital against medical advice. I arrived safely in Wilson where my own doctor pronounced me O.K. with no surgery 
indicated for what they think might have been food poisoning. I guess the moral of this story is: Do not leave Wilson, do not get 
sick and do not eat while on vacation." 

She is not overly fond of pets, but is tolerant enough to let Susan's cat climb in her lap or on the furniture. Florence is a past 
Deacon and now very active in Sunday School, WMU, and Church. Each month she leads a team of cooks for the Wednesday 
night family suppers. She was on the Kitchen Planning Committee during the recent building program. She serves and delivers 
Meals on Wheels and serves on the Board of Senior Citizen Affairs. 

Florence is very thankful for her good health and treasures the many friends made at work and at First Baptist. First Baptist 
treasures you, Florence Pittman, and appreciates your friendliness, your cheerful attitude and your willingness to undertake all 
you do. (12/6/07) 

Herbert and DeLannie Pridgen 
"The Senior Scene" October 1995 

Pauline and Wade Pridgen, Sr. had four children: Herbert, Wade, Jr., Dot (Leach) and Don Callie and 
Vess Bissette had two daughters, DeLannie and Margaret. Herbert and DeLannie were born in Wilson 
County and went through school together. They started dating when they were in high school and 
married soon after graduation. One month later, they joined Five Points Missionary Baptist Church. 
Herbert worked at a grocery store. During the depression years, not everyone had a car, so Herbert 
pedaled his bicycle to and from work. Jim Ed Miles lived across the street from DeLannie when they 
were young and loved to tease her about riding on the luggage carrier of Herbert's bike. Herbert recalls 
when he and DeLannie could have a nice evening out for 50 cents! 

At Mrs. Ellis' on Downing Street in Five Points, where hot dogs cost a nickel, they could get three for 
a dime, catch the bus, go to the "picture show" and even have a bit of change left over! If they did not 
get hot dogs, they could have popcorn! Herbert went to work with Standard Oil company (now Exxon), 
later becoming a dealer for them. Herbert and DeLannie's first car was an Austin. DeLannie said 
Herbert pushed it more than he drove it. Once, when it broke down, Herbert pushed it from the old fire tower on Highway 42 West 
(now Old Raleigh Road) to the first service station in town. Four years after they were married, the Pridgens were blessed with 
a son, Warren Kent, their pride and joy. Then they bought a second-hand two-door Plymouth. DeLannie says "they were movin' 
on up," as the Jeffersons on TV put it. In the spring of 1944, Herbert received his greetings from Uncle Sam. He took his basic 
training at Fort Lee, Virginia, and was then transferred to Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania, for more training. DeLannie went to see 
Herbert, and they rented a small apartment. They also lived in Lebanon and Jonestown, Pa. for a short time. Kent stayed with his 
Grandmother and Grandfather Bissette until his parents were settled. DeLannie came to Wilson to get Kent in November, and the 
day after they returned to Pennsylvania, it started snowing; they never saw the ground again while they were there! Herbert was 
shipped out the last of January, and the family was separated for thirteen months. 

DeLannie's father went to Pennsylvania on the train to help his daughter and grandson move back to Wilson. The morning they 
left Pennsylvania, there were 25 inches of snow on the ground and the car was frozen in it. Even with chains on the tires, they 
had car trouble; but with DeLannie's constant prayers all those long 400 miles, "the Lord was with them and they arrived home 
safely." DeLannie and Kent then lived in a house on Deans Street. When they heard from Herbert again in February, 1945, he 
was in Recife, Brazil, with the Air Transport Command. Now that she knew his address, they wrote to each other every day and 
sent pictures often. Because of the gas shortage during this time, DeLannie and Kent began attending First Baptist on the comer 
of Nash and Pine Streets. Herbert received his Honorable Discharge in April 1946, at Fort Bragg. Then Herbert and DeLannie 
moved their membership to First Baptist. A few years later, Kent also became a member. 

Herbert leased a gas station from Brown Oil Company on Douglas Street. Later they built him a new station and garage on 301 
Highway. For five years, Herbert kept that station open seven days a week from 6 AM until 11 PM. Gradually, the hours were cut 
to 6 AM until 7 PM, and they closed on Sunday. Herbert gave DeLannie the job of being his bookkeeper, secretary and treasurer. 
They were associated with Brown Oil Company for 36 years and had the U-Haul dealership for 21 years. Herbert received several 
awards for being one of the top 100 dealers in the United States for U-Haul rentals. At that time, there were 15,000 dealers! 
Herbert and DeLannie operated the station and garage until they retired in December of 1982. Since retiring, they really miss the 
customers, associates and friends acquired there through those many years. Herbert is a past Commander of the Veterans of 
Foreign Wars, as well as a lifetime member. The VFW Ladies' Auxiliary was formed while Herbert was serving as Commander, 
and DeLannie was elected the first President of the Auxiliary. Herbert is also a lifetime member of the Loyal Order of the Moose. 

At First Baptist, Herbert is President of the James T Miller Sunday School Class and serves on the Grounds Committee. DeLannie 

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works with Florence Pittman's Wednesday night cooking group. She is in Lois Lamm's WMU Group I and Sallie Boswell's 
Friendship Sunday School Class, which visits Triangle East Nursing Home each month. Both Herbert and DeLannie are Sunday 
School greeters. After Kent finished Charles L. Coon High School, he went to Wilson Technical Institute and was in the first 
graduating class. He married the former Shellie Dew Bailey, daughter of the late Don and Eva Bailey of this membership. Kent 
and Shellie live in Wilson. 

A favorite family memory is the celebration of Herbert and DeLannie's 50th wedding anniversary on May 13, 1987, when Shellie 
and Kent honored them with a reception in their home. DeLannie says all their friends and family were there to share that special 
occasion. Since retiring 13 years ago, the Pridgens' hobbies are fishing, gardening and traveling. They share a place on the 
Pamlico River with DeLannie's sister and brother-in-law, Margaret and Stan Viverette. At the river, they have a vegetable garden 
and a variety of fruit trees. Every summer, they go on vacation with the Viverettes. They have been on several trips with Kent and 
Shellie on their motor home. They also enjoy outings with First Baptist Seniors. Herbert and DeLannie are very thankful that God 
has blessed them and been with them through all their years — in sickness and health, through richer and poorer, through better 
and worse. DeLannie says "God taught them that where there is a will, God will show us the way." The Pridgens are a delightful 
couple with a positive attitude, a good sense of humor, and obvious love and respect for each other. They are dedicated, faithful 
members of First Baptist and love their Church family. They are enjoying their active retirement and took forward to celebrating 
as many more years together as God will allow. (Herbert 2/15/05 and DeLannie 12/13/03) 

Lester Lee Quick 
"The Senior Scene" May 1991 

Lester Lee Quick was born August 14, 1900. He grew up in Dillon, South Carolina, with five brothers 
and two sisters. In 1934 he married Zeldon Hughes, also from Dillon. She was a piano teacher and 
very likely influenced Mr. Quick's love of music. Mr. And Mrs. Quick had three children. Lee Tanya 
and his wife, Sallie, live in Florida and have three sons. Caroline and her husband, Ernest, live in 
Switzerland and have two daughters. Caroline teaches English as a foreign language. The Quicks 
also had a daughter, Angeline, who died in 1978. 

Mr. Quick worked for Atlantic Coastline Railroad as freight office clerk for 52 years, starting in Dillon 
and transferring to Wilson in 1932. Mrs. Quick was an invalid for many years, and her husband very 
capably took excellent care of her. During this time, he became quite a good cook, specializing in 
"downhome" cooking. Mr. Quick has lots of interesting memorabilia in his many collections, but trains 
are his specialty. He loves gardening, and many people have admired his azaleas in bloom. He 
decorates his Christmas tree each year with a collection of jewelry. 

Storytelling is one of Mr. Quick's favorite pastimes. With his sharp memory, he easily recalls names, dates, places and events. 
Let him tell you about seeing Buffalo Bill in his 1916 Wild West Show; Halley's Comet the first time it came around this century 
(1910); his first view of a frightening horseless carriage; seeing South Carolina's first airplane; or visiting our former Pastor Hugh 
Ellis' first church in Quebec about 1935. 

Mr. Quick has a great sense of humor. He is always interested in and concerned about others. He buys a season ticket for Friends 
of the College Concerts and saves the programs for Clyde Patterson. Mr. Quick's family and his church are his top priorities. 
Although he grew up as a Methodist, be became a member of First Baptist Church in May 1949. He has always set an example 
for faithful attendance at church functions. He enjoys being a member of the Senior Adult Choir. He loves to travel and enjoys the 
Senior Adult trips. Our young people are especially fond of him and they always save the last caroling stopfer him. Several of our 
youth claim him as their "adoptive grandfather." We salute you ... we love you, Lester Lee Quick! First Baptist Senior Adults are 
happy to honor you as THE Senior of the Season. (5/11/91) 





In Memory of Lonnie E. Riggins 

When our former pastors, Jim Jarred and Lynwood Walters, learned that one of First Baptist Church's 
custodians, Lonnie Riggons, had a limited education because of family circumstances, they called 
upon Vera Bean and Barbara Flowers to tutor Lonnie" in reading and writing. Vera says that without 
his keen mind, Lonnie could never have worked at FBC for fourteen years. The following paragraphs 
are excerpts from his "homework", transcribed by Vera Bean. 

March 15, 1993: I like, working at First Baptist Church. This coming June I will have been working at 
First Baptist Church for thirteen years. I like the pastor. I like my supervisor. He is Mr. Walters. I like 
my co-workers. Ned has worked with me for two years and I like to work with Ned. 



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Out of the many jobs I have to do, I like to run the vacuum cleaner and the buffer. We have cloths that have been treated to catch 
dust It's the tools that you work with that make a job easy or hard. 

April 5: I studied the work list and learned to read most of it I will study two pages of it this week and underline the words I don't 
know in red. Today I was able to read all of the pages that I had studied. I want to be able to write a note to someone and I want 
to be able to read a note that someone writes to me. 

April 27: On Sunday, I go to church. It is Clifton Chapel in Spring Hope. That is twelve miles from where I live. Sometimes on 
mens' days I sing in the choir. The service lasts about two hours. We get out about 2:00. We sing and listen to preaching. Since 
my sons are grown, I don't go to Sunday School. Sometimes I was embarrassed because I was not able to read the Bible when 
they asked me. Scripture words are hard to read. 

June 7: I have worked at the same job for thirteen years. How have I been able to work here for so long? I do a good job. I do 
extra things that people don't have to tell me what to do. I know how to take and go on with it. When Ned is on vacation 1 see that 
the work in his area has to be done and I just carry on with it 

June 14: I try to be a good employee. I keep busy. I don't sit around because when you sit around people, soon they are going to 
start talking. I try to keep my hands off things that don't belong to me. I try to work in a way that I keep my conscience clean so I 
can live with myself. They know they can trust me. 

June 24: Another reason why we should do what's right is because we set a good example for our children or any children who 
see us. Children will do what you do. If you set a bad example before them and do wrong things yourself, your children will do 
the same thing. 

August 16: My son is needing a job. He needs a job very badly. I went with him to the School for the Deaf in' Wilson to apply for a 
job. I hope he goes to the school to work. I worked there for fourteen years and nine months. It is a good place to work. 

November 29: Last week we had Thanksgiving. I went to see my aunt. She is the aunt that I went to live with when I was fourteen 
years old. Before that I lived with my parents. We did not stay in one place long enough to complete a grade in school. If it rained 
you went to school that day. It didn't rain you went to the field. 

December 6: We went to church on Sunday twice a month. I like to go to church on Sunday but I didn't learn to read there. 
Because of that I never learned the basics and by the time I was fourteen years old it was too late. My aunt and uncle made sure 
I went to school but I didn't have the valuable basics to build on. I was in the sixth grade with a first grade I.Q. 

My daddy was born in 1900 in Pembroke on a Cherokee Indian reservation ... He was a tenant farmer. 

March 1 , 1 994: My father had musical talent and often played the guitar at Church and other places. He could build pack houses 
and tobacco barns and some houses. He knew how to shoe a mule. In 1952 a young mule kicked him in the chest. It was cold, 
rainy weather and he was hurting but he had to make a living for his family. He got down real sick with double pneumonia. He 
went to the doctor in Bailey once and after that he laid at home without any help for about three months. I walked five miles to a 
country store to ask the store man could he help me because my father was down in bed real sick. He called social worker. An 
old-fashioned hearse came and took him to Mercy Hospital in Wilson. They sent him to the old sanitarium, where they had better 
equipment But the pneumonia had too big a holt on him and he just died right on out. My mother was left with eight children and 
a baby. The social worker put the baby in foster home and the rest of children were put in foster homes and in the orphans' home 
in Oxford, North Carolina. That is when I went to live with my aunt and uncle. The children who went to the orphans' home did real 
well - they finished school and one went to college and they did real well. 

March 7: After my father died, my mother didn't know a thing in the world about having a public job. She couldn't possibly make 
a living for us children. 

March 1 4: 1 was the oldest so I had to help. My lap was wet more than it was dry. Some mornings it was wet before I left for school 
and I had to go right on that way, wet and smelling, and the kids at school would get on me. 

March 21 : A long time ago they were all Cherokee Indians. Now they call themselves Lumbee Indians and Cherokee Indians. My 
daddy came from Robeson County. I don't know anything about his daddy except he was Cherokee Indian. My mother's people 
were Cherokee Indian on her daddy's side. Her daddy was about 6 feet 2 inches tall, weighed about 300 pounds and had green 
eyes. He could read and write real good. He could read better than most of his children. 

Some where along back there a white man married into the family. The blood line started breaking down with each new family. 
One child would be light with blue eyes but with nappy hair, while another first cousin would have pretty silky hair. 

84 




There is not no Indians around here and I don't fit into any group. The Blacks treat you cool. The Whites don't have anything to 
do with you cause you don't fit into their world and you're left standing there in a world by yourself. 

In 1976 when I was working at the School for the Deaf, a head Indian Chief, W. R. Rickson, came to the school and told me he 
could have me arrested and put in jail for denying my race. I had to take my children and my wife up to the Indian Reservation in 
Halifax County to be registered. I hadn't denied my race. 

In his last Newsletter column "Random Notes", Jim Jarred wrote his thanks to the Church, including Lonnie Riggons, "who, on the 
last day of my tenure, gave me the well-crafted note he had written - which HE had written." 

Lucy Rogers 
"The Senior Scene" September 1990 

There is a rare treasure among us, one whom we love and admire - because she is such a beautiful 
Christian role model. She is young-at-heart, gentle, faithful, friendly, kindhearted, humble, and 
modest, although quite willing to speak her convictions. Miss Lucy Rogers continues to be a very 
active member of this church, as she has for many years. Currently, she is Treasurer of the Bethany- 
TEL Sunday School class, a helper in the Homebound Department, active in the Friday morning Bible 
Study group, active in the WMU Group V, as well as Group VIII, which sponsors a monthly birthday 
party for the residents of Wilson Convalescent Center. She models in the annual Senior Adult Fashion 
Show and seldom missed an opportunity to participate in any Senior Adult activity or trip. 

Miss Lucy took care of her sister, who lived with her for years until her death, while still visiting 

another sister in an out-of-town nursing home. From 1942-1975, Miss Rogers worked with the Clerk 

of Superior Court. She was recognized by the Wilson County Bar Association for her dedication to 

her work for helping young lawyers learn the proper procedures. The local Exchange Club honored her by presenting her "The 

Book of Golden Deeds." This is done annually by Exchange Clubs nationwide to honor an exemplary person who has worked 

very hard to contribute a better quality of life to people in the community. 

Even yet, she serves our community by volunteering as the Gray Lady at Wilson Memorial Hospital on Sunday afternoons, a time 
that volunteers with family ties would prefer to be at home. Miss Lucy Rogers, THIS is your day! (7/15/07) 

Mae Shackelford 
"The Senior Scene" September 1995 

There's no mystery about who she is this month. She was born in Wilson in 1924 to Henry Russell 
Griffin and Roberta Tyson Griffin. She was a twin to her sister, Mavis Tyson Griffin, who lived only a 
short time. She had an older brother, Henry Russell, Jr. ("H.R."), who is now deceased. Her younger 
brother, Dan Tyson Griffin, lives in Greensboro. Her father died in 1931 when Mae was only six years 
old, but her mother very lovingly and competently raised the children alone. They were a very close- 
knit family. 

When Mr. Griffin was gravely ill in a Baltimore hospital, Mrs. Griffin was there with him at the time 
for Mae to enter first grade. Her Grandmother Griffin was caring for the children and took Mae to 
Margaret Hearne School. After a few weeks, it was time to get a second reader. Grandmother Griffin 
went to Mae's teacher and told her not to give Mae another book, because she did not know what 
was in the first one! Grandmothers had a lot of influence in those days! 

As a teenager, Mae did a lot of baby-sitting and earned enough money to buy a bicycle. She was very proud of it and did not mind 
a bit that it happened to be a boy's bike. Mae joined First Baptist Church in 1 937 when she was 1 3. Sarah Pridgen (Whitley) was 
her Girls' Auxiliary leader and had a very positive influence on Mae's life. Mae remembers good times growing up - happy boys 
and girls enjoying life. She and several of her friends would sometimes go to the beach. Once, she went to Washington, D. C, 
with a girl friend for a weekend. Mae loved chocolate candy, but had never eaten her fill. She bought a box of candy and ate so 
much she got quite sick in the hotel room. Other than that, she "had a wonderful time" in the nation's capital. 

One summer while Mae was in high school, her mother persuaded the owner of Herring's Drug Store to give Mae a job at the 
soda fountain. Dr. Doane Herring, father of the owner, came in soon after Mae started working and asked for a glass of Adam's 
Ale. Mae looked and looked all around the fountain, but never having heard of anything like that, could not find it. Dr. Herring then 
laughingly told her it was "water" and enjoyed teasing her. 




85 



During World War II, she also worked as a cashier for a year at Oettinger's Department Store, where the money was sent from the 
clerk to the office in electrical cups (similar to drive-up bank systems today). There she worked with Mrs. Hugh B. Johnston (Edna 
Long Boykin). About 1945, Mae went back to Herring's Drug Store and worked as a bookkeeper for five years. During the war 
years, girls and their chaperones would go to U. S. O. dances at Seymour Johnson Air Base in Goldsboro every Saturday night 
to help entertain our soldiers. They met a lot of nice young men who were a long way from home. Her older brother, H. R., served 
in the Air Force in India, and it was a very difficult time for Mae's family. They were most thankful when he returned home safely. 
He married Mary Frances Uzzell and they had three children, two of whom, along with their families, are First Baptist members: 
Frances Griffin Buck and Robert Blaine Griffin. The other son, Russ Griffin, is married and lives in Forest, Virginia. 

On a blind date in 1948, Mae met Fred Shackelford of Walstonburg, an auditor for the North Carolina Department of Revenue. 
They were married in 1950 at First Baptist on the corner of Nash and Pine Streets. They lived in Rocky Mount, where their son, 
Raymond, was born in 1951. Fred was taken seriously ill in 1954, and at that time, Mae could not drive a car. Who else but 
Roberta Griffin taught Mae to drive! Fred still had his license, so Mae drove on her Learner's Permit with him along. With Fred 
unable to work, they moved back to Wilson with her mother in 1956. Mae went to work in the Utilities Department of the City of 
Wilson and worked 30 years before retiring. She enjoyed her work and the relationship with her fellow employees very much. 
Meanwhile, Raymond was growing up. After finishing high school, he went to Wake Forest University, where he graduated in 1974 
with Honors. After retiring, Mae enjoyed staying home with her mother and husband, considering it a privilege to take care of them 
in their later years. Mrs. Griffin died at home "in her own room" in 1986 at age 93. Fred died in 1994 at 71. 

In 1988, Raymond married Randah Whitley. They live in Chapel Hill and have two sons, ages 6 and 4. Mae is very proud of her 
grandchildren, and Raymond must be proud of his mother bravely driving alone to Chapel Hill to visit her family. Raymond works 
with the N. C. Department of Environment Health and Natural Resources in Raleigh, while Randah is employed as a physical 
therapist at UNC Hospital. 

Mae loves her Church very much and is a devoted and dedicated member. She recalls growing up with lots of the members 
and enjoys our "wonderful fellowship." Mae is very active in Sunday School and THREE WMU Groups: Group III with Facilitator 
Elaine Craig; Group XI which visits Britthaven for monthly birthday parties with leaders Sallie Boswell and Berlie Epps; and Group 
X, Special Concerns, as Co-leader with Delma Galloway. Mae especially enjoys visiting with our members who are no longer 
actively attending Church, but still very much interested in Church activities. For Mae, "it is a joy to go to their homes, as well as 
the nursing homes, to visit with them, taking them literature and just having a good chat with each one and telling them you care 
and that you love them." You will never see Mae without her smiling face and ready laugh. With her friendly, cheerful, outgoing, 
positive personality, Mae Sharpe Griffin Shackelford is more than well-suited and well-qualified to spread sunshine and minister 
to others, which, after all, is what our Lord would have each of us do. We just need to follow the role models He set in our midst. 

Bill and Cornelia Stephenson 
"The Senior Scene" March 1997 

Her grandfather was a rural mail carrier and delivered mail by horse and buggy. Her family had no 
electricity until she was in the ninth grade because a neighbor would not allow power poles across 
his land. She was born and grew up with two brothers on her father's farm just outside Pine Level in 
Johnston County. 




Although he was born in Dillon, South Carolina, they had a lot in common. His father also had worked 
with the U. S. Post Office before the Depression, afterward becoming a tenant farmer. As opportunities 
came along, his family moved around a lot. He has no memory of his mother before she had a major 
stroke when he was four years old. He grew up helping his father raise crops, pigs and cattle. When 
he was 12, it was necessary for him and his three sisters to be split up among relatives, and he went to 
live with an uncle in Johnston County. He served in the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers for 30 months. 
The Army assigned him as a clerk in a headquarters company, but he had to teach himself to type! 
He remembers putting a typewriter on a tree stump to practice. His outfit served in Europe and built one of the first bridges over 
the northern Rhine River, as well as a bridge over the Ruhr. While on an eight-country European tour years later, he and his wife 
would take a boat down the Rhine, but they were too far south to see the bridge his Army unit built. 

At 15, she and her cousin Janice, who was also her closest friend, neighbor and playmate, often spent Friday nights making 
candy. Janice, two years older, was very attractive and boys frequently sought her out. One Saturday, two boys came calling, but 
only one knew Janice. The other was 22 years old and a student at N. C. State College. The girls shared their homemade candy 
and played records. The next week the State student drove his rattletrap car to see the 15 year old, but they did not see each 
other again for two years. 

During the summer between her first and second years at Mars Hill Junior College, he carne a-calling in a newer car. In 1951, 
he graduated from N. C. State with an Electrical Engineering degree and she graduated from Mars Hill with an Associate Arts 

86 



degree. She then went to Richmond, VA on the train for an interview and was accepted into the Medical College of Virginia 
Nursing School. While she was there, he would often go to see her. He said if he had turned his car loose, it would have headed 
to Richmond by itself. Cornelia Watson and Bill Stephenson went together three years and were married on July 25, 1953, a year 
before she finished nursing school. During that year he moved from Southern Pines to Raleigh while working for Carolina Power 
and Light. After she earned her BS in Nursing, she got a job at Rex Hospital School of Nursing as Assistant Science Instructor 
and was soon promoted to Instructor. 

The Stephensons moved several times before settling in Wilson. For five years they lived in Gamer while Bill worked with a 
Raleigh consulting engineering firm. They also lived in Roanoke Rapids for five years while he worked with a paper mill. During 
this time, they became close friends of Bob and Barbara Whiteman. Years later an interesting coincidence happened after the 
Whitemans moved to Raleigh. Barbara was playing tennis with a lady and discovered that the lady and her husband were also 
very close friends of the Stephensons. Now the six of them enjoy getting together. Cornelia and Bill also lived in Delaware for 
a brief time. In 1966, they moved to Wilson when Bill came to work for Carolina Fiberglass, later called Eljer Plumbing. The 
Stephensons' daughter Kenna received her undergraduate degree at UNC Chapel Hill, her Master's at Duke, and she is now a 
hospital consultant. Kenna and her husband, Dr. John C. Watts, a pediatrician, live in Gastonia with their children, John IV (whom 
Cornelia calls "John Four"), five years of age, and Coralie Marie, almost three. She is named for two great-grandmothers, and the 
name "Coralie" is a Watts fifth-generation name. Cornelia and Bill's son, Wes, earned his mechanical engineering degree at N. 
C. State. He met his wife, Whitney, in the Wake Forest School of Business. After they were married, both earned their Master's 
degrees there. He works as an automobile product engineer and supervisor with AMP Corporation. Whitney is a drug salesperson 
for Parke-Davis. Their daughter, Jenna Tracy, is four months old, and the family lives in Winston-Salem. 

After being a full-time homemaker for 22 years, Cornelia took a refresher course at Wake Technical College. At the same time, 
Wes was a student at N. C. State and Kenna at Duke. Cornelia then worked part-time at Wilson Memorial Hospital for three years. 
During this time, Bill was working out of a headquarters in Pittsburgh, PA, flying there often. 

Everywhere they have lived, they have been involved in church and civic activities. In Gamer, Cornelia taught Sunday School 
and Bill was President of the Brotherhood. In Roanoke Rapids, he was a Sunday School team teacher, she worked with Barbara 
Whiteman in GA's and was Vice-President of the junior Woman's Club several years, being in line for President when they 
moved to Wilson. Here, they visited several churches, including First Baptist. Their first visitors from FBC were Tollie and Russell 
Stephenson (no relation). Their good friends Bob and Barbara Whiteman were also FBC members, having moved to Wilson two 
years earlier. After becoming members Cornelia served as a Girl Scout leader, Sunbeam leader and helped teach Sunday School 
with Peggy Newton as well as Sarah Whitley. Bill served as Webelos (boys between Cubs and Scouts) leader for a year and was 
named 1971 Lions' Club Member of the Year. He helps deliver Meals on Wheels and plans to help with the Habitat House First 
Baptist will soon help build. 

Cornelia's mother lived with them for five years before entering a nursing home. She died in 1991. The uncle with whom Bill lived 
from age 12 is now 87 and in a nursing home in Smithfield. Cornelia and Bill visit once a week to take care of his personal needs 
and his house. Their faith has helped them cope with several family tragedies that happened in a short period of time. Cornelia's 
father died suddenly in 1 968 from a heart attack in Petersburg, VA. He was returning by train with her mother and aunt from a visit 
with Cornelia's brother in California. Bill's sister died with a brain tumor and he lost a favorite aunt. 

Bill has combined his hobby of photography with their love of motor-homing. He spends a lot of time working on their motor home; 
and because they once nearly lost their brakes coming down a mountain into Jackson, Wyoming, he is now installing an engine 
exhaust braking system. It holds the motor home back, allowing the driver to brake in most instances without applying the foot 
brakes, thereby saving them for emergencies and complete stops. 

In May, they will join a caravan of 20 motor homes for 33 days to tour about 18 national parks and monuments in the Rocky 
Mountain area. The caravan operators out of Texas include a "wagon master" who leads and the "tail gunner" who brings up the 
rear to help stragglers and breakdowns. Each motor home is required to have a Citizens Band radio. Cornelia and Bill have made 
other caravan trips to Nova Scotia (18 days) and Alaska (42 days). 

By themselves, they have crisscrossed the United States several times, sometimes visiting her brother in California and his sister 
in Oregon or including them in their travels. They always pull a small car and make side trips anytime they learn of points of 
interest in the area. They try to visit each state capital and the museums there. Except for Bill not going to Hawaii with Cornelia 
and Kenna, they have been to all 50 states, logging over 73,000 miles. The large U. S. map upon which they mark their highway 
travels seems to be almost covered, showing few open spaces still to be explored. 

Bill and Cornelia Stephenson, "THIS IS YOUR LIFE!" We wish you good fortune and long years together for future travels. Return 
safely and share your stories and photographs with those of us who only dream of seeing the glorious beauty in the nooks and 
crannies of this great land of ours. "May the road rise to meet you, may the wind be always at your back, may the sun shine warm 
upon your face, the rains fall soft ... and ... may God hold you in the palm of his hand." (Irish Blessing) 

87 




Russell and Tollie Stephenson 
"The Senior Scene" April 1996 

He was born in Kenly and lived in Pikeville and Stantonsburg before moving to Wilson. He attended 
Atlantic Christian College for a while and later graduated from Smithdeal-Massey Business College in 
Richmond, Virginia. She was born in Zebulon and came to Wilson to enter nursing school. She was 
on duty at the hospital when he came bringing candy and flowers to his girlfriend, a patient. Every time 
he visited, he brought a gift The nurse told someone that she certainly would like to meet that nice 
gentleman, and so they were introduced. 

On their very first date, he took her to First Baptist Church! His family background was Quaker, and his 

mother attended the semi-monthly meetings of the nearest Quaker Church near Nahunta. In between 

those meetings, she attended First Baptist in Wilson. The young couple went together about a year and 

a half before getting married. She gave up her nursing career six months before graduation, because 

there was a rule that students could not be married. When they got married, his mother encouraged 

him to join First Baptist, because Tollie had been baptized and had moved her membership from Zebulon. He was soon baptized 

by Dr. Ellis. Their Church and their marriage went together hand in hand. It must have been the right thing to do, since Russell 

and Beulah "Tollie" Conn Stephenson will celebrate their 61st anniversary this June 5. 

They have one son, Russell, Jr., a graduate of Wake Forest, who is a Senior Vice-President with Wachovia Bank. Russ is the 
father of their two grandchildren, Russell Lee, III and Harriet, both graduates of Wake Forest. Lee recently moved to Wilson to 
work with his grandfather as Vice-President of Stephenson Millwork Company. He moved his membership from Hayes-Barton 
Baptist Church in Raleigh to First Baptist. 

After her graduation, Harriet worked in the medical field three years before deciding she would be happier with a nursing degree, 
so she is now a student at Wake Medical Nursing School. It must be very rewarding to Tollie and Russell that their grandchildren 
are following in their footsteps. As a young man, Russell trained and rode show horses for other people. Therefore, 

Tollie and Baby Russ followed the horse shows. A time came when Tollie discovered that the feed bill for the horses was more 
than the family grocery bill, so she convinced Russell to get out of the "horse business. " 

Russell's father started Stephenson Lumber Company in 1931. After graduating from business school in 1933, Russell returned 
to work with his father for more than 15 years. His father retired in 1945, and Russell founded Stephenson Millwork Company 
in 1946. He began with seven employees — and his wife by his side. A recent 50th Anniversary publication of the company says, 
"Tollie has played an integral part in the company's success and growth over the years. Today, Stephenson Millwork Company 
has more than 90 employees and has grown into one of the largest custom millwork companies on the east coast." 

Russell said that his father taught him if quality comes first, with proper supervision, quantity will follow. A sign in the plant says, 
"A person who works with his hands is a laborer. A person who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman. A person who 
works with his hands, brains and heart is an artist. " 

During World War II, Stephenson Millwork Company was devoted primarily to the production of war materials. Russell was 
drafted, but the war ended before his unit was to leave the States. Russell served on the First Baptist Board of Deacons for many 
years and was Superintendent of the Sunday School for about ten years. As a member of a Building Subcommittee, he was very 
active in helping to build the present Sanctuary. Stephenson Millwork did all the millwork for the Sanctuary and Sunday School 
buildings. He well remembers the Church ladies selling their famous chicken pastry in the old carriage house on the property to 
make money for the Building Fund. Russell modestly says our Church has done far more for him and his family than he has ever 
done for the Church. 

Tollie, a music lover, is a past member of the Choir. Her name is listed in an old Christmas Musical Program, along with Gracie 
Clark, Mary Lib Farris and Frances Lee, to name a few. She had helped in her Zebulon Sunday School; and after her marriage, 
she taught in the Second Grade Sunday School class with Kathryn Easom and Polly Stott for many years. She has also been 
active in WMU and is currently a member of Group V. 

Russell is past member and President of the Kiwanis Club. He was a City Commissioner for 12 years. He was a Trustee of 
Chowan College many years and is presently serving on their Visitors' Board. For 32 years, he was Liaison in Wilson County for 
Congressman L. H. Fountain. Russell enjoys reading in his leisure time. 

Tollie and Russell have long been faithful members and "pillars" of this Church. That they love this Church is obvious to anyone 
who listens to them or other long-time members. They have always been willing workers, always ready to share their time and 
talents. (Russell 4/21/05 and Tollie 3/22/97) 

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Polly Stott 
"The Senior Scene" March 2001 

Pauline Fern Freeman was born September 26, 1908, in Caroleen (Rutherford County) in Western 
North Carolina to Robert Gaither and Carrie Louise Dobbins Freeman. "Polly" was the youngest of 
eight children, seven girls and one boy. Education was very important to her parents. One sibling died 
as a baby and another as a young adult; five either taught school or became a school principal. 

For a long time the family lived in Cliffside, North Carolina, between their pastor and either the school 
principal or the school superintendent. Once during a hurricane or terrible windstorm, the outhouse 
blew over and all the children laughed. The preacher reprimanded them saying, "You'd better not laugh 
at the Lord's work." Polly says that the whole family attended church "every time the doors opened," 
and the younger children would go to sleep on the pew — Polly with her head in her mother's lap. 

When she was the only child left at home, she was responsible for filling three wash tubs and the wash 
pot with water from the well, which was downhill from the house. She remembers climbing up the hill 
with full buckets of water was very difficult for her. 

Polly played basketball at school and was chosen the best guard in Rutherford County at the time. She also won a prize in a 
baking contest for her biscuits. The family moved to Shelby (Cleveland County) when Polly was in her teens and after graduating 
from Shelby High School, she took a one-year teachers' training course at the same school, graduating in 1926. 

Polly's sister, Bess Freeman, was principal at Bullocks Elementary School when Charles L. Coon, Superintendent of Wilson 
County Schools, hired Polly in the fall of 1 926 at the age of 1 8 to teach at Bullocks. While teaching there, a friend brought a young 
man named Henry Roland Stott to the teacherage. Roland farmed with his father and brother. With the school year lasting only 
eight months, Polly was home for four months every summer and did not see Roland, but they continued to go together about six 
years before being married on May 29, 1934. While Polly and Roland were dating, they came to Wilson with another couple to 
see a movie, and when they returned to the teacherage, she was locked out. The door was always locked at 9 p.m., so she had 
to spend that night with her girlfriend. The next morning, she made sure to be at school on time! 

After they were married and moved to Bailey, Roland worked at the grocery store and Polly continued to teach at Bullocks. Their 
daughter, Vicki Lynn was born in Bailey in July 1940. In those days before public kindergartens, Vicki was only four or five years 
old and Polly would take Vicki to her first grade classroom for the day. Polly, Roland and Vicki moved to Wilson when Belk Tyler 
first opened their store downtown in March 1942. From day one, Roland worked there, holding the positions of manager of the 
Shoe Department, assistant manager of the store and manager of the Men's Department. During these years, Polly did substitute 
teaching at Bullocks, Margaret Hearne, Winstead and at Lamm's School when George Boswell's father, Anderson, was principal. 

Like her mother, Vicki became a school teacher and taught at Camp Lejeune, in Raleigh, and at Margaret Hearne and Wells in 
Wilson. She retired from Bailey Elementary School in Nash County after breaking her leg in 1998. 

Vicki married Mickey Larry Fulghumfrom Rock Ridge in April 1968, and Polly's only grandchild, Stephen Robert was born in May 
1971. Stephen married Andrea Smith in 1996 and they live in Landis, North Carolina. Andrea is a librarian at South Rowan High 
School and Stephen works for the Charlotte Observer. 

Many of the Belk Tyler employees, including the Stotts, attended and became members of First Baptist Church (located just 
across the street from Belk's) probably partly due to the influence and encouragement of Herbert M. Jeffries, Sr., manager of 
Belk Tyler. The Stotts joined First Baptist Church on February 18, 1945, and Polly sang in the Sanctuary Choir under Brucie 
O'Quinn, Don Hinshaw and Clyde Patterson. Among those she sang with were Grade Clark, Frances Lee and Estelle Speight 
(all deceased), as well as with Jennie Lee, Jo Finch and others. Polly was also a member of the Adult Bell Choir. 

While they lived in Shelby, Polly took piano lessons and learned to play by note; however, she could also pick out most any tune 
by ear. With experience of playing the piano at Noble's Chapel Church in earlier years, she played the piano many years in the 
First Baptist Second Grade Department under Kathryn Easom and later Frances Moore. She also played for the Adult Assembly 
and taught in Vacation Bible School. 

Roland was secretary of the Sunday School at our old downtown church and Vicki remembers making rounds with her father 
to collect the various class envelopes. She remembers the men who gathered to record attendance and offerings, especially 
Charles Powell, who always made a lot over her. 

Polly was an excellent cook and well known for her homemade biscuits mentioned earlier. For many years she enjoyed various 
crafts; her favorites were ceramics, cross-stitching and crocheting. Polly regularly collected contributions for various charities 
in her neighborhood, and was president of the Parent Teachers Association when Vicki was a student at Margaret Hearne 

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Elementary School. About that time, one mother told her son they had to give their puppies away and instructed him to leave one 
of the puppies at Mrs. Stott's because she was "so nice." The little boy did not ring the bell; he just left the puppy at the door. Vicki 
remembers hearing the puppy whining, opening the door and finding the pup they named "George," who lived to be 14 years old. 

After Roland had a stroke in 1 979, he and Polly moved in with Mickey and Vicki for about nine months until Roland had a massive 
stroke and went to a rest home. He died on Christmas Day, 1980. Polly returned to her home on Adams Street for seven years 
until 1987, when she moved in with Vicki, Mickey and Stephen on Pinecrest Drive, and she still resides there. Mickey died in 
January 1993, and Polly had heart attacks in March 1993 and again in 1995. She says that she has lived to be 92 1/2 because 
she was raised on peas, beans, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions and baked cornbread during the week and chicken 
every Sunday. She remembers being in her back yard in Shelby when a man came by and asked for something to eat. She 
brought him a baked sweet potato, and he proceeded to eat it, peeling and all. 

Polly Stott has a ready smile and pleasant personality. She is kind, sweet and friendly. A longtime friend says that she is a very fine 
Christian lady, who lives her faith on the quiet side. She is both loving and lovable. Her love of children was evident throughout 
her teaching career, as well as when she was playing the piano for children in Sunday SchooL She was faithful in her church 
attendance and music responsibilities for many years, and her lifelong Christian example has been a great influence on many 
people and is very much appreciated. (10/16/03) 

Bo and Lottie Sutton 
"The Senior Scene" June 1995 

She was born in Johnston County and lived there until she graduated from Corinth Holder High School. 
She had three older brothers, who have since died in the opposite order of their birth. Her grandfather 
was one of the founders of Hales Chapel Baptist Church in Johnston County, and she credits her 
mother — "a devout Christian" — for her own Christian commitment. She is happy that the pastor who 
baptized her at Hales Chapel also officiated at her wedding. She came to Atlantic Christian College 
in Wilson in the summer of 1942 and continued her studies full time in order to graduate in just three 
years. Afterwards, she briefly taught Grades 5 and 6 at Lucama Elementary School. Then, for six 
years, she taught Fifth Grade at Woodard School. 

He was born in Gaffney, South Carolina, one of two boys. His brother is now deceased, so each of 
them is the last of their respective families. He spent his young years in Cowpens, SC. His father died 
when he was seven years old, and his mother began working outside the home. He grew up in Gaffney, 
where he graduated from high school. He left Gaffney when he was 20 and came to Wilson, where 
he went to work at The Wilson Daily Times as a linotype operator. He is very grateful to his uncle, who was Superintendent of 
Schools in Greenwood, SC, for being instrumental in helping him get into the printing business. (Imagine the difficulty of setting 
type in mirror image.) In Wilson, he lived on Green Street in Mrs. W. D. (Pearl) Trent's boarding house. (Mrs. Trent was a longtime 
member of First Baptist.) Our couple met at the boarding house in 1943. Her former college roommate, who also lived there, 
introduced Lottie Vann to B. O. Sutton. Names — or the lack of them! Lottie N. M. N. Vann (N. M. N. — No Middle Name). B. O. 
(initials only) was named after his maternal grandfather, whose name was also just "B. O." Sometimes when filling out forms, he 
signed his name "B. (only) O. (only)," and he chuckles when he remembers that Dr. Hardison called him "Bonly Only." It is easy 
to see why everyone calls him "Bo." 

Lottie and Bo went together "off and on about five years" and were married August 30, 1948. They first lived in an apartment 
belonging to Caroline Stephenson (Russell's mother) for about two years before building their present home on West Nash Street. 
Their son Larry was born in 1954 two months prematurely. One of the hardest things Lottie ever had to do was to leave him at 
Melchoir Clinic for 19 days before bringing him home. When Larry was a little boy, he became very reluctant to go to his Sunday 
School Class at their local church. One day he visited the Choir at First Baptist with a neighborhood friend and joined the Choir 
that very day! Don Hinshaw was Choir Director and made Larry very welcome. Larry was so happy at First Baptist that Bo and 
Lottie themselves decided to join the church a few months later. They well remember the date, because they joined on Lottie's 
birthday, April 12, in 1964. Lottie quotes Isaiah 11 :6, "And a little child shall lead them." 

When Larry was 11, Dr. Ross Albert of the Atlantic Christian College Music Department heard Larry sing and invited him to 
perform with Stage and Script in a Christmas opera. Lottie says Larry must have inherited her mother's talent for singing. Larry 
sings in his own church choir and has been a guest soloist in our church several times. He studied organ music under Clyde 
Patterson. Larry graduated from N.E.W. (Nash-Edgecombe-Wilson) Academy in Sharpsburg and Atlantic Christian College with 
honors. He is an internal auditor with the N.C. Department of Revenue. He married the former Susan Batts of Rocky Mount, who 
teaches high school math. They live in Wendell. Their daughter, Allyson Lauren, now five, will be in first grade this fall. 

Both Bo and Lottie literally light up and become all smiles when they talk about Allyson. They fondly remember her cute quips 
and sayings. Once when she was a toddler, someone told her she was adorable, and she said, "I am not Adorable, I am Allyson 

90 




Lauren Sutton." Last year Allyson was very apprehensive about attending a Kindergarten with 200 children in ten classes; 
however, she adapted well and at year's end won the Extra Effort Award and the only Positive Attitude Award. 

Although at one time they moved to Durham where Bo worked with a printing company for a year or so, he worked at Wilson 
Daily Times 38 years. Upon retirement, he operated his own "backyard printing shop" for ten years. Lottie was his bookkeeper 
until they both retired in 1990. 

Lottie was a stay-at-home mother for eight years, and then taught Kindergarten for the Wilson Council of Churches six years. In 
1967, she began a new and difficult career at Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf, teaching Kindergarten through sixth 
grade with no training whatsoever, except day-to-day preparation during that first year. In those days, they taught only speech 
therapy and lip reading. However, after six years, the school went to total communication. Lottie credits the children with teaching 
her sign language, although she did take courses at ACC to become certified. Teaching at ENCSDfor 16 years was her "greatest 
challenge." When she retired, she had taught a total of 28 years. At First Baptist, Bo has served on the Board of Deacons, was 
Church Treasurer, Usher Chairman, Secretary of his Sunday School Class for many years and was active in the Brotherhood. He 
and Larry enjoyed working together in the Junior Department with Mrs. Lucille Cole. Bo is a former member of the Civitan Club 
and served on the AARP Board of Directors. He used to enjoy woodworking crafts. For ten or 1 2 years, Lottie first taught and was 
later Director of the five-year-olds in Sunday School. She has been a member of WMU. She and Bo are very faithful in attending 
Sunday School and worship services. Lottie is currently on the Board of Directors of AARP, a volunteer on call with the SHIPP 
insurance program, and a member of the Retired Teachers' Association. She is a former member of the Altrusa Club. She has an 
avid interest in genealogy; and she is a dealer for wedding invitations with two companies. 

Lottie and Bo Sutton, THIS is the way you were; THIS is the way you are; THIS is your life." First Baptist Church thanks you for 
the quiet way in which you "go about doing good," the example you set in your gentleness, your love for each other and your faith 
in our Lord. (Bo 8/8/99) 

Doug and Eleanor Tabb 
"The Senior Scene" September 1997 

Eleanor Johnson is from Short Pump, Virginia, so named because the only gas station was one of 
the first stations to put in short gas pumps instead of the old-fashioned tall ones. She grew up on a 
farm in Goochland County, then about 14 miles west of Richmond; however, the big city's growth has 
shortened that distance in recent years. After graduating from Smithdeal-Massey Business College 
in Richmond, Eleanor became secretary to the Branch Manager of First and Merchants Bank and 
her duties included typing letters, etc., for another employee of that branch named Douglas Cowles 
Tabb. Doug teases Eleanor saying she seemed to be the slowest secretary he had ever seen, but at 
the end of each day, she had gotten more done than any other person he had ever seen. 

Doug was born in Newport News, Virginia, but when he was five his family moved to Wilmington, 

North Carolina, where he grew up and spent much time on the tennis court. He graduated from 

New Hanover High School in 1932 when jobs were very scarce and moved to Richmond to attend 

the University of Richmond. Doug worked in Washington, D.C., with Sealtest Dairies for a brief time 

before going with First and Merchants Bank. The bank later sent him to open the first branch bank in the Pentagon. During World 

War II he served three years in the U. S. Air Force as a B-24 pilot. In 1951, Doug moved to Wilson to work at Wilson Industrial 

Bank, which merged with Branch Banking and Trust Company in 1957. 

Doug and Eleanor were married in 1954 and joined First Baptist soon thereafter. They are the parents of Douglas, Jr. ("Rusty"), 
Bruce and Debra. Rusty is a CPA in Wilson; he and his wife, Pam, have two daughters, Erin and Rachel. Bruce is single and works 
in the Library of the University of Oregon in Eugene. Bruce has graciously played his flute at quite a few First Baptist worship 
services while visiting his parents. The Tabbs' daughter, Debra, lives in Raleigh and is married to Clayton DeCamillis. They have 
a son, Tabb, and a daughter, Emily. Debra is a homemaker, but does work part-time outside the home. 

When Debra started elementary school Eleanor went to work part-time with BB&T Travel Department. Within a short period of 
time, she was working 50-60 hours a week, because the manager had a heart attack, leaving her as the only employee. Doug 
would take his work and stay with her sometimes until eleven o'clock at night to keep her from being in the office alone. She 
worked there about four years. Eleanor then went to work as Executive Secretary to the President of Imperial Tobacco Company, 
which later became Miller Tobacco Company. Still later, the company became Standard Commercial. Eleanor worked for four 
different company presidents in her 31 years on the job, with her responsibilities increasing each year before she retired earlier 
this year. Eleanor is currently enjoying a more relaxed schedule, although Doug's recent knee injury, eye surgery and her sister's 
illness have kept her busy nursing. She enjoys baby-sitting Rachel. Eleanor was scheduled to become President of the Wilson 
Woman's Club at the time she went back to work. She has now rejoined the Woman's Club and is looking forward to becoming 
involved with some of the many volunteer organizations in the near future. While with Standard Commercial, she worked with 

91 




school children in the Partners-in-Education Program. 

While with the banks, Doug was active in the United Way and served as President of the Wilson Chamber of Commerce. He also 
served as Treasurer of East Carolina Boy Scout Council for 15 years, earning the Silver Beaver Award. He says because he was 
blessed with good health, he had 40 years' perfect attendance at the Rotary Club, where at various times, he served as President, 
Secretary and Treasurer. One Monday night when Rusty needed emergency surgery for an appendectomy, Doug asked the 
doctor if the surgery couldn't wait until Tuesday, so he could go to Rotary meeting that night. Rusty had his surgery Monday night, 
but Doug managed to keep his attendance record intact. He was later named a Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Club. After Doug 
retired from BB&T, he worked part-time at Belks a dozen or more years. 

During those years and even now, he always helped Eleanor with many household chores and had dinner ready for her when 
she got home from work. In their leisure time, they enjoy taking trips to the western North Carolina mountains. Doug's motto is 
"Golf comes first," and he plays about four times a week. Eleanor's favorite pastimes are reading, crocheting and, she sheepishly 
admits, napping. Both Doug and Eleanor have been active in First Baptist Sunday School and Church. Eleanor helped in the 
two-year-old Department for about five years, in the Nursery for 1 7 years and was a Den Mother in Pack 8 when Rusty and Bruce 
were Cub Scouts. Being elected a deacon seems to run in the Tabb family. Doug's father was a deacon in First Baptist Church 
in Wilmington. Doug and Rusty are inactive deacons in Wilson First, and Debra is currently a deacon at Hayes-Barton Baptist 
Church in Raleigh. Besides his deacon service, Doug helped in the Junior Department for about five years. He has served as 
Chairman of the Stewardship Forward Program. For the last ten years, he has managed the lighting during the Sunday morning 
worship service. 

Eleanor and Doug Tabb seem to be an ideal couple, displaying concern and loving kindness for each other and sharing work 
and pleasure with a sense of humor. Each admires the other for all he or she has done, but neither wants to take credit for any 
unusual accomplishment. (Doug 3/9/09) 

Bill and Jayne Turner 
"The Senior Scene" April 2002 

During her first week as a freshman at the University of Georgia in Athens, she and other girls in her 
dormitory were singing around the piano when two male sophomores arrived "to check out the new 
crop of girls." One of the two saw her, liked what he saw and invited her to the freshman dance. She 
accepted and, as the custom was, went dressed in a ridiculous outfit, had an outrageous hairdo and 
even wore an onion around her neck! Could the upperclassmen be taking advantage of the poor 
underlings? At any rate, the girl and boy danced the first dance, the second, third and the rest of the 
evening together. It was love at first sight and from then on, they did not even date anyone else! In 
counting her blessings, she says her first week in college brought a "lasting blessing" when she met 
her "life partner and best friend." After her graduation three and a half years later, they were married 
on August 31, 1958, and she now says, "His life is my life." 

They did have a lot in common: they grew up on Georgia farms (about one hundred miles apart); their birthdays are only six days 
apart in November and they were "born into Christian homes with parents and grandparents who set constant and consistent 
examples for them." 

Jayne Carolyn Currin was the younger of two daughters born to Mayo Duke and Robert Elliott Currin, Jr. of Broxton in Coffee 
County, Georgia. Her father raised poled (no horns) Hereford beef cattle, Holstein dairy cattle for his dairy and a large acreage of 
tobacco. Her grandfather was originally from Oxford, North Carolina and at one time owned horses together with R. J. Reynolds. 
Her grandparents used to spend summers in Greenville and at the Cherry Hotel in Wilson while her grandfather speculated on 
tobacco. About 1 920 they moved to Georgia and her grandfather was one of the first farmers to grow tobacco there. 

The oldest of four children, William J. "Bill" Turner was born in Blakely, Georgia near the Alabama state line to Carolyn and 
Frank Turner, who grew peanuts and cotton on their farm. Bill graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of 
Science degree in Agricultural Engineering and was employed by John Deere Tractor Company in Monroe, Georgia until he was 
transferred to Columbia, South Carolina. 

Jayne earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics and taught English, Science and Biology until their "greatest 
joy," the children, came along and promoted her to a stay-at-home Mom. She says she truly believes "this is the most important, 
demanding, rewarding and exhausting task with which we can be blessed." All three of the Turners' beautiful daughters were born 
in Columbia, and the family was very happy there. In May 1965 Bill was transferred to Raleigh where they lived for two years with 
a "let down" feeling due to business practices. After eight years with John Deere, Bill decided to go into business for himself and, 
with a partner, bought Johnson Cotton Company in Smithfield, changed the name to Smithfield Farm Equipment Company and 
operated it for three years. The family enjoyed living in Smithfield and was very active in the First Baptist Church. Jayne sang in 

92 




the choir and Bill was ordained as a deacon. 

Bill became dissatisfied with the Farm Equipment Company and sold his share of the company to his partner. With a family to feed 
and without a job, he spent six or eight months looking for opportunities. Although he knew nothing about the petroleum industry, 
in 1971 he bought Home Oil Company in Wilson from a widow, Mrs. J. W. (Varina) Harrison, mother of Rae Stephenson and 
former member of First Baptist Church. The father of Jim Matthews, another former FBC member, had worked for Mr. Harrison 
at Home Oil Company, knew the business and operated it for Bill. Later Bill, now a bona fide petroleum marketer, bought the 
distributorship of Cities Service (now Citgo) and in 1 977 purchased the Exxon business from Mrs. Rex Best in Stantonsburg. Over 
the years his business changed from home oil deliveries to modem day convenient stores. 

From 1971-1977 Bill commuted from Smithfield to Wilson before they built a house on Canal Drive in Wilson. They enrolled their 
daughters in Wilson schools before the house was complete, so for several months the girls also commuted. Lynn was a high 
school senior, Leigh a junior and Lesa an eighth grader. "All too soon," Jayne said, "one by one the girls left for college and one 
by one they married, leaving the nest empty, but hopefully, if I have done my job well enough, the outside world will benefit." 

Lynn attended Salem College and transferred to Atlantic Christian College when she became engaged to John Lee, son of 
Marguerite Lee. Lynn is a homemaker and they have a home here and in Marathon, Florida. They are members of First Baptist 
Church in Wilson; and those people who helped make Christmas wreaths for the church sanctuary the last few years will remember 
what a terrific team Lynn and her mother were in placing the prepared greenery on wreath forms. Lynn drew the preliminary plans 
for the Turners' new home at Farmington Place. 

Leigh graduated from Meredith College and is married to Joe Harrell, a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Air Force who served in the 
Gulf War as a pilot on the USS Enterprise. Leigh, a homemaker, and Joe live in Alexandria, Virginia with their daughters, Lydia, 
eleven and in the sixth grade, and Madeline, nine and a fourth grader. 

Lesa attended Campbell College before graduating from Atlantic Christian College. She is married to Kep Paylor and they live in 
Raleigh, where she is in supplemental insurance sales. They also have two daughters, Currin, who is eight and in third grade, and 
Belle, four and in preschool. The four cousins fill the Turners' upstairs children's room with love and laughter and have a wonderful 
time together. Jayne says her daughters "have grown into strong, loving, caring Christian women who are now instilling in their 
children the values that will make their lives meaningful for themselves and others." 

Jayne's favorite activities are gardening, painting and being with family and friends. She is truly gifted and talented in music and 
art and has taken art courses from Clara Flanagan. There are several of her beautiful paintings hanging in their home, where she 
has a "studio" in the sunlit laundry room. She has a definite talent for decorating, as evidenced by their lovely home. With her 
abilities, she is a natural asset on the church Flower and Decorating Committees, serving on both as she has for many years. 
These committees have brought much beauty to our recently painted sanctuary, as well as our grounds. With her love of flowers, 
she has developed a talent for making attractive arrangements. Her singing talent goes back to childhood and high school days 
when she sang soprano in choirs, choruses and a quartet. Jayne has sung in the sanctuary choir since they joined our church in 
1977. She is also on the Welcoming Committee and tutors weekly in our After School Program. Hope Station is blessed with her 
volunteer time, as well as our Church. She has always participated in the duties of church, committees, clubs, Parent Teacher 
Associations, school functions and community affairs, as she says, "trying to leave a small mark that will make a difference." 

Jayne's mother is ninety-one years old and still lives in her home in Broxton, Georgia with round-the-clock care. When Jayne 
visits, she may stay only three days or she may stay three weeks, depending on her mother's condition and needs. Bill's mother 
lives in Zephyr Hills, Florida (thirty miles from Tampa). Jayne and Bill have enjoyed many pleasure trips, including Italy and later 
England and Scotland when Leigh and Joe lived near London for three years. 

In the past Bill has served on the Board of Directors of First Citizens Bank, North Carolina National Bank and Nations Bank. He 
has served on the Board of Admissions at Chowan College, is a past president of the original Wilson Rotary Club and a member 
of the Masons, Elks Club and Chamber of Commerce. 

At First Baptist, Bill currently serves on the Board of Deacons and teaches the Paraclete Class in Sunday School, having done 
both for many years. He has served on various Deacon committees and on the Personnel Committee that hired Tom Riley and 
Beth Crawford. 

The Turners have a wonderful collection of books in their library and one of Bill's favorite pastimes is reading. He especially enjoys 
playing golf and does consent to do some yard work when necessary. 

Jayne and Bill Turner are truly an example of a charming southern lady and a polite southern gentleman. They are dependable, 
dedicated to the task at hand, and take their responsibilities very seriously. He is a good businessman and does not like to waste 
time, and she is an excellent homemaker and dedicated volunteer. She plans everything ahead of time and is a good organizer. 
They love their home and have an appreciation for home furnishings. Bill chooses his words carefully, has a good sense of humor 

93 




and likes to tease. Jayne is full of concern and compassion for others. Anyone can see when they look at each other that their 
"love at first sight" has grown with each passing day. 

Charlotte Turner 
"The Senior Scene" September 2002 

Her grandfather was manager of the old Fairfield Dairy on Highway 58 East near Stantonsburg in 
Wilson County, and she was born July 28, 1 932 in the beautiful two-story home which is still standing 
across the road from where the dairy was. Her family soon moved next door to the old Fire Station 
on North Douglas Street in Wilson, where her father was a fireman and retired with twenty-five years' 
service. 

When they were children, she and her sister each received a duckling for Easter. One day while her 
mother and her sister were shopping and she was home alone, she accidentally stepped on one of 
the ducklings, jumped up and came down with the other foot on the second duckling, killing both. 
When her mother and sister returned she was sobbing inconsolably. Perhaps her father's hobby of 
raising rabbits helped ease her pain. 

She attended Margaret Hearne Elementary School and graduated from Charles L. Coon High School. While still in high school her 
first job was at the Progressive Grocery Store on Douglas Street across from the old Woodard-Herring Hospital, and the manager 
of the store was Ethel Wilkerson's husband, Ed. She has taken a great variety of classes at Wilson Technical Community College 
and even now says she "hasn't decided what she wants to be when she grows up." 

She is very talented in handcrafts. She enjoys designing and appliqueing various motifs on jumpers and jackets. She has made 
ceramics, has done Tole painting and has painted many Santa Claus figures. She owns quite an impressionable collection- of 
about three hundred dolls, many rabbits, Santa Clauses, a Christmas Village and some German beer steins, including one about 
three feet tall. Her husband hand-carved three steins in addition to other household items. She used to bowl and would love to 
take up golf if she could find a willing partner. 

The large house where Charlotte Ann Pridgen was born was home to a large extended family. Her grandparents lived downstairs 
with their daughter, Bobbie Warenda's mother, Clara Belle Ellis, while Charlotte lived on one side upstairs with her mother and 
father, James Harper and Ava Hooks Pridgen. Her cousin, Sarah Pridgen Whitley, was born there and at one time lived on the 
other side upstairs with her parents, Marion L. and Emma Pridgen. It was one BIG happy family where the men worked in the 
dairy. A story handed down in the family is that Sarah as a little girl unintentionally left the gate open at the top of the stairs and 
Charlotte as a toddler tumbled down the stairs until the walker she was in caught and fell no further. The three younger families all 
moved to Wilson and joined First Baptist Church. The lovely old home place has been renovated and is now owned and occupied 
by a classmate of Charlotte's, Dalen Saulter Bottoms, whose late husband Donohue also enjoyed the home. 

Having returned from about four years' service in the U. S. Navy in the South pacific, a young fireman named Sidney "Bud" Turner 
was introduced to Charlotte while she was still in high school and soon started dating her. 

Bud's father was accidentally killed on Christmas Eve when Bud was only four years old. His mother struggled to raise her five 
children alone. When Bud, the middle child, was sixteen he persuaded his mother to sign permission for him to join the Navy. 
After Charlotte finished high school, she and Bud were married on September 22, 1950 by Mr. Clyde Baucom in the First Baptist 
Church parsonage on Daniel Street with only immediate family present. 

The Turners still live in the house they moved into when they married. Bud's mother moved in with them only a week after they 
were married and lived with them five years. Bud has added on to the house several times, including a greenhouse in which 
Charlotte raised orchids at one time. Bud retired as Assistant Fire Chief after forty-one years of service with the City of Wilson. A 
nephew of Bud's, Keith Davis, joined First Baptist when he married Terri Najera, daughter of Doretha and Pedro. 

Charlotte worked part-time for about six years as a bookkeeper for Tobacco City Motors under H. F. Kelly and later Jim Bradley, 
former members of First Baptist Church. For a brief time before the birth of their second child, Charlotte worked in the business 
office of Eastern North Carolina Sanatorium with Frances Broadhurst and C. C. Moss, also former members. Charlotte was 
employed part-time for twenty years by Wilson Tobacco Company and retired after nine years' service with the Wilson County 
Board of Elections. She spent her first Social Security check on a gold rabbit necklace custom designed by Anderson Bass at 
Churchwell's Jewelers. She said she would always know where that first check went but probably would not remember where 
any of those following were spent. 

Charlotte and Bud Turner have two children, James Sidney "Sid" Turner and Laura Faye Turner Smith (born on 9/11/64). After 
being out of school ten years, Sid decided to finish his education and graduated from East Carolina University with honors. He 

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is employed by Sprint and lives in Overland Park, Kansas. Laura is a stay-at-home mother, married to Tim Smith. The Turners' 
five grandchildren range in age from twenty-two to six. Sherry, Sid's daughter, is married to David Varble and they have just been 
transferred from Missouri to Pope Air Force Base near Fayetteville much to Charlotte's delight. Sherry and David have a ten- 
month old son, Kadin, who makes it hard for Charlotte to realize she is a great grandmother. Sid's namesake Sid is twenty years 
old and in the Navy. He has recently returned from active duty in the Mediterranean and is now stationed in Norfolk, Virginia. Big 
Sid's younger daughter, Sarah, is thirteen and lives in Kansas. Laura's children are eleven-year old Garrett and six-year-old Tyler 
Smith and the family resides in Kinston. 

The Turners' children have both had close calls. Sid was born with Hirschsprung's Disease and was taken to Watts Hospital in 
Durham for surgery when he as only three days old. In those days a new mother was kept in the hospital at least five days and 
was not allowed to travel, so Charlotte did not see her firstborn again for two weeks. When he was two and a half years old, 
Sid had to have surgery again. When Laura was sixteen her car was hit by a train at the Herring Avenue crossing on Halloween 
night in 1981, Bud's birthday. She was thrown out of the car and had severe head injuries but no broken bones other than her 
cheekbone. The family was told if Laura had her seat-belt fastened, she would have been killed. Laura recovered with no after- 
effects and Charlotte feels very fortunate and very thankful to have both her children. 

Charlotte and her younger sister, Faye Pridgen Houston, are very close and visit each other often. Faye lives in Williamsburg, 
Virginia and the sisters love to travel, shop and eat together. Several years ago they drove to Indianapolis in one day, where Faye 
visited her son while Charlotte flew on to Kansas to visit Sid. During Charlotte's turn to drive on a major six-lane highway, Faye 
(the navigator) said they would need to exit to the left, so Charlotte steered to the far left lane, noticing big trucks and bumper- 
to-bumper traffic behind them. All of a sudden Faye screamed that the exit was off to the right and Charlotte immediately swung 
over to the right-hand exit lane. She truly feels that God was watching over them and opened a safe path. On the way home from 
Indianapolis, Faye had to drive the entire distance because Charlotte refused to drive. That harrowing experience is the reason 
Charlotte now only drives on secondary roads. 

However, she readily flies alone to visit her children and grandchildren or to participate in their special events. She flew alone to 
Chicago for her grandson's boot camp graduation and to Pensacola, Florida when he graduated from Navy Technical School. 
When Laura was ten, the two of them flew to California to visit Faye. 

Charlotte enjoys doing all the work in their beautifully landscaped yard. She grows a huge variety of flowers intermixed with 
attractive and tastefully arranged garden statues. During the time her grandchildren, Sherry and Sid, lived with the Turners, 
they helped her build a lovely fishpond in the back yard. Charlotte finds watching the fish is very relaxing. She maintains a pet 
cemetery with seasonal flowers in her back yard, where there are two dogs and a cat with birth and death date markers. Her 
current canine, Noel (so named because she joined the family on Christmas Eve) is a mix between a Pomeranian and a Shih Tzu. 

Charlotte is active in civic and community affairs, serving on the Wilson Appearance Commission and the Fireman's Relief Fund 
Board. She has also volunteered with Meals on Wheels, the Red Cross and as a "deadheader" at the Wilson Rose Garden 
on Herring Avenue. Having joined First Baptist Church at Nash and Pine Streets on May 6, 1945 she has been a member for 
fifty-seven years. She has been active in Sunday School, worship services and Baptist Women (WMU). She has served on the 
Flower Committee, Chancel Committee, Historical Committee and Senior Adult Council, where she used her artistic talents and 
innovative ideas making very attractive bulletin board displays and sometimes decorating the dining tables. She has served as a 
greeter, helped with meals when needed and enjoyed traveling with Senior Adults. 

Charlotte Pridgen Turner has a good sense of humor and enjoys telling jokes. She enjoys laughing with others and doesn't mind 
laughing at herself. She enjoys getting two or three carloads of friends together to attend special events such as dinner theater 
plays at Laura's church in Kinston. She is closely involved with her children's and grandchildren's daily living and keeps in 
touch with friends and extended family members. She is community-minded and will make telephone calls or write letters to the 
newspaper editor to try to right a wrong. She joyfully and willingly shares her many talents. She is very faithful in her attendance 
at First Baptist Church and dedicated in her service to our Lord. 

Alvin Duke and Mae Pendergrass Underwood 
"The Senior Scene" April 1990 and October 1996 

In March of this year, Alvin Duke Underwood, Sr., was presented a 70-year award at a special reception 
and ceremony by the Mount Lebanon Lodge 117 for seventy years' membership in the Masons. He is 
only the second Mason in North Carolina to receive such an honor. Affectionately known as the "Sly 
Old Fox," Alvin was born on October 3, 1898, to James and Viola Underwood and was the seventh of 
nine children. He was-graduated from Bailey High School in 1920 and attended UNC for three years 
as a medical student. He married Lucille in 1936, and they had two children and three grandchildren. 

In his younger days, he taught school in Pinkney; worked for the Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company and 

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later with the Atlantic Coastline Railroad in Dillon, S.c. Then he and his friend, F. L. Fagan, formed the Rockingham Gas Company 
in Rockingham, N.C. When he retired in 1964, he and his family returned to Wilson where they became involved in local civic and 
Church activities. After the death of his wife in 1976, he continued to be active. A few years later, he met a lovely nurse named 
Mae Pendergrass, and they were married on October 6, 1983, in a quiet ceremony in Gaffney, S.c. Alvin and Mae are very 
active in First Baptist, especially in Senior Adult programs, where they sing in the Choir, model in fashion shows, act in drama 
productions and travel on trips and retreats. Since his retirement, Alvin has taken some art courses and has quite a few paintings 
to prove his talent. We hope to see some of them exhibited at Fun-Day Sunday. Always ready with a keen observation, a funny 
story or a fond recollection from the past, Alvin's great wit and keen sense of humor make him the life of the party. 

Mae Pendergrass Underwood moved to High Point, NC on September 21 to live with her daughter, Sharon P. Puryear until her 
room at the Masonic Retirement Home in Greensboro is ready. Mae is a native of Edgecombe County. She is the sister of Hilton 
Carlton and the late Lucille Cole (hostess at First Baptist for five years,) Mae graduated from Carolina General School of Nursing, 
then married June Pendergrass and moved to Greensboro where she nursed at Moses Cone Hospital. 

When June died, Mae moved back to Wilson with her daughter and shared a home with her sister, Lucille Cole. She went to 
work at the "just opened" Wilson Memorial Hospital and remained there nursing until she retired. Mae met the dashing Alvin 
Underwood and they were married a year later. They had many happy years together before Alvin died two years ago. 

Mae enjoyed the Senior Adult Choir and the Senior trips and activities. We shall miss her. (Alvin 9/27/99 and Mae 3/21/05) 

Betty Wall 
"The Senior Scene" September 2001 

Betty Hill was born July 5, 1929 in Taxahaw, Lancaster County, South Carolina (south of Monroe, North Carolina). Her parents 
were Bonne Harrell and Z. Mark Hill. She had one brother (now deceased) and two sisters, one who lives in California and one 
in Arizona. Betty was born prematurely at home and weighted only 5 1/2 pounds. She says arriving early was a trait she forgot to 
keep practicing. Her mother credited a black lady with saving her life by heating bricks in the fireplace, wrapping them in blankets 
and lining her bassinet, making an "incubator. " 

Betty says two good men greatly influenced her early formative years: her father and her maternal 
grandfather, Sid Harrell. Both were strong believers and supporters of education, as well as quiet examples 
of good character. After a very short time in South Carolina, her family returned to Marshville, Union 
County (east of Monroe), North Carolina. They lived on the same street as her maternal grandparents 
and only a block or so from her paternal grandmother, who died when she was ten years old. Although 
Betty was born during the Depression years, childhood memories are of carefree and happy times. Until 
World War II, her family vacationed each summer at White Lake. She and her father shared a love of 
horses, and from the time she was six years old until she married, she owned a horse that was always 
exchanged for a larger one as she grew. Even though she rode western saddle, she managed to jump 
every mount but two, one being her first pony. 

Betty says that Marshville High School was small and lots of fun. Students could join everything, and she was a member of the 
band, the glee club, various other clubs, a cheerleader and Student Council President. To accommodate the addition of a twelfth 
grade, school officials decided that both boys and girls would take one semester each of Agriculture and Home Economics. Betty 
loved the Ag Class, where they "cut up pigs and did all sorts of neat things." She says that her talents didn't lie with a needle! She 
always knew that she would attend college, Wake Forest (old campus) being her choice. She knew exactly what she wanted to 
do with her life: complete college, travel some, establish a ladies' dress shop and, sometime in the distant future, marry. 

On her first day at Wake Forest, she met Vernon E. Wall, Jr., whose home town was only ten miles from hers. Both their fathers 
were in the lumber business. Vernon was a veteran who had spent two years in Germany in the Army of Occupation; and he 
knew exactly what he planned to do with his life— the ministry! When Betty was younger, she had exclaimed repeatedly, "Some 
day I want to marry and have a family, but I will NEVER marry a preacher!" During their freshman year, Vernon asked her to marry 
him right then, but she was not ready. During her sophomore year, he gave her his fraternity pin (fraternity brother Lewis Lee 
and Vernon were good friends). During junior year, Vernon gave Betty a diamond ring and said they had to get married or stop 
seeing each other. So they were married August 12, 1950 and completed their senior year together. She says that Vernon was 
always a more serious student than she, and he was fascinated about anything he did not yet know. Betty was active in student 
government, various campus organizations and president of her dormitory her junior year. Vernon graduated with honors; she 
says that she "graduated." 

Vernon taught Betty to enjoy bird watching and opera; she taught him to shag. She was never able to persuade him to ride horses 
with her, although he enjoyed watching her. He said that he was more comfortable on something with gears. He was never able 
to persuade her to go kayaking. 

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After college, Vernon was accepted at Duke Divinity School, but chose to enter Southeastern Seminary, Vernon entered the 
Chaplaincy Program at Baptist Hospital so the family lived in Winston-Salem for a year. Afterwards, he accepted the position 
of Assistant Chaplain at the North Carolina Sanatorium at Black Mountain, North Carolina, where they lived for ten years. They 
loved the changing seasons and beautiful scenery of the mountains and the nicest people there. The whole family was very active 
in their church, and Betty worked with every group in the church except Royal Ambassadors. She also belonged to a book club 
that was challenging. Their third child, Mark, was born there, and the children had many recreational facilities to enjoy. Although 
she held an English-History major, Betty taught Primary Special Education the last year and a half and loved it. 

One important drawback in Black Mountain was that the head chaplain and Vernon had different concepts of the hospital chaplaincy 
program. So when Dr. Herman Easom and Mr. C. C. Moss offered Vernon the opportunity to implement his own program at the 
Eastern North Carolina Sanatorium in Wilson, he accepted. Betty was less than thrilled about moving, but thought she presented 
herself as a supportive wife. However, she says she did not fool Herman Easom because several years later, he said "Betty, you 
didn't want to come to Wilson, did you?" 

Dr. Easom was Vernon's mentor from the beginning and later, Betty's as well. Kathryn and Herman Easom were very kind and 
helpful to them, and the four became close friends. Wilson soon became home where the Walls had many happy years together. 
Betty taught high school English for twenty-five years, twenty-two at Darden and three at Hunt before retiring in 1 991 . Vernon had 
already chosen First Baptist Church, so they joined as soon as they moved to Wilson in late 1968. Most of us remember Vernon 
as the tallest man who sang in the Sanctuary Choir all those many years. Betty has taught in Vacation Bible School and tutored in 
the After School Program. She enjoys Wednesday night services, and for the past two years she was in Karen Johnson's WMU 
Group I. She is a member of the Ruth Sunday School Class, which she says is an active, knowledgeable and congenial group 
of women. In the past Betty volunteered to deliver Meals on Wheels, and later Vernon joined her. Betty and Vernon were not 
travelers, but they loved the coastal waters and enjoyed a ski boat and camping while the children were young. After they were 
grown, Betty and Vernon discarded their plans to build a mountain retirement cottage near Swannanoa and instead bought a 
small condo at Minnesott Beach and kept a boat at Oriental. They went there as often as they could, if only for a day. Betty says 
that although Vernon was a skilled sailor, sometimes the Neuse River was very rough, and they decided to move the boat to Lake 
Gaston, where they also enjoyed canoeing. 

One of Betty's favorite pastimes is reading a variety of material, for which she never has enough time. For strength, inspiration 
and comfort she reads the Bible and devotional books. She used to read mostly historical novels, but now her daughter keeps her 
supplied with mysteries. She also enjoys lunching with friends and having friends or family in for meals. She says that although 
she used to love cooking, now her stove is "rusting." She loves all the holidays and decorating for them. She enjoys entertaining 
and a couple of years ago, hosted an early "roast" for Carol Bullard's birthday, which was so much fun the friends continue to 
celebrate each one's birthday, although not in the same way. They bring no gifts— just the funniest cards they can find. Betty 
enjoys doing yard work and working with her hands when able. She finds contentment and peace of mind relaxing on her sun 
porch watching the birds, squirrels and rabbits. 

Betty has nine grandchildren: Sandra Elizabeth 'Missy" Wall (25), daughter of Vern III, a long distance trucker who lives in Rocky 
Mount; Mark (23) and Cecil Williams III (22), sons of Buffie, histologist at Nash General Hospital in Rocky Mount where she also 
lives; and Vernon S. (19), Taylor (16), Emily (13) and Rachel Wall (8), children of Mark, who is employed by a nuclear plant in 
Maryland. In June of this year, Cecil III married Kelly Land, and in August Buffie married Kevin Incoe's father, so now Betty has 
four granddaughters and five grandsons. 

Betty Wall is a rather "private person" with a sensitive heart. It is easy to see she will so always love the most important person in 
her life for fifty years, her husband Vernon, who died in September 1997 of cancer. She might shed a tear or give a hearty chuckle 
almost in the same breath. On the way home from Greenville after receiving the cancer diagnosis, they found and bought a yard 
sign that says, "So it isn't Home Sweet Home-adjust, " which they placed at their back entrance. Betty has a talent for decorating, 
as evidenced by her lovely, comfortable and inviting home. She enjoys opera tapes, especially by Charlotte Church, while driving 
her car. 

Jean Wiggs introduced her to country music, and with a couple of friends, they have enjoyed the concerts at Selma and Smithfield. 
A good listener and conversationalist, Betty is a fun-loving person and enjoys being around people of all ages. She has been 
known to host a small party on the spur of the moment with only the slightest excuse. She often says that she "loves lemon pie 
so much she's not going to heaven if they don't have it there!" Betty Wall is a very generous person, quietly giving of her time and 
talents to many individuals and worthy causes. 



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Huldah Walston 
"The Senior Scene" February 1993 

Huldah Margaret Dixon Walston's life has been and continues to be one of service and love for Jesus 
Christ. She was born in Guilford County on September 29, 1908 to Lucy and Adam Clark Dixon. She 
was the second of seven children. Her mother was a Primitive Baptist but she made sure the children 
went to church where they could attend Sunday School. So Huldah's service in the church started early. 

She went to school in Guilford County and graduated from High Point College with a degree in Home 
Economics. She came to Wilson County when she was only 20 years old to teach Home Economics at 
Saratoga High School. There was a young man in Saratoga who happened to be the only single man 
in Saratoga who owned a car, giving him the duty of bringing all the teachers to "Town" on Saturday. 
Although Lonnie Walston and Huldah never dated while she was in Saratoga, she always happened to 
sit in the front seat on these weekly trips. After she returned to Guilford County to teach at Bessemer 
High School, Lonnie would make it a habit to "stop by" on Sunday afternoon because he was "just riding around." They were 
married on February 24, 1940 and moved to Wilson where they quickly became a part of First Baptist Church. They had two 
children, Jane and Ida Ruth who, I can promise you, were raised knowing that First Baptist Church is a vital part of Huldah's life. 
I can remember many nights that Daddy, Jane, and I would wait up for Mama while she was at some kind of meeting. 

I think she served on the Sunday School and Church Nominating Committee every year that Mr. Baucom was the minister of this 
church. I started listing the things that Mama has done in the church over the years and then I decided it might be easier just to 
say that she has never been a member of the choir. She has served as WMU President, GA leader, Superintendent of the Junior 
Sunday School Department for 20 years, Trustee of the Church, and received the WMU Service Award. How many chickens 
and cakes did she cook to raise money for our new church? While she was doing all of this, she was active in her community, 
serving on the PTA in the individual schools and as county PTA President. She was active in the Wilson Woman's Club and was 
President of the Garden Department and Treasurer of the Thrift Shop. How could she accomplish all this and still have time to 
bake those famous Christmas cookies each with Santa's face so intricately designed, dress like a witch to surprise all of us at 
Mrs. Tomlinson's Halloween party, sew most of our clothes-although I do remember being stitched as I walked out the door and 
pulling basting out of my hem during the sermon on Easter Sunday. My friend Becky used to like to come home with me after 
school because Mama made those good cheese sandwiches. Now my children like to go to Granny's house too, because as Amy 
says, she knows it will be good. 

This should not sound as if her years of service are in the past. I think this is the best example of her commitment to God. Her 
faith in God has carried her through the difficult times in her life including the illness and death of parents, husband and daughter. 
But her faith and commitment continues in the good times too. I am so very grateful that my children have the opportunity to learn 
from her example as a loving Servant of the Lord. (11/2/94) 

Barney and Pat Walston 
"The Senior Scene" February 1995 

How did a young man from Wilson, North Carolina, meet the girl from Gainesville, Florida, that he could 
not live without? Some might say fate or circumstances brought them together. Others might say it was 
World War II. But Christians believe that God is in control of our lives. 

Patricia Ann Greene was born on February 25, 1924, in Gainesville, but was raised and educated in 
Jacksonville, Florida. She graduated with high honors from high school one Friday night and went to 
work the following Monday morning. Because of the war, "it was the patriotic thing to do to get involved in 
Civil Service." She worked as secretary to the commander of the Naval Receiving Station in Jacksonville. 

Her yet-to-be-met husband was born on June 28, 1914, and grew up in Wilson. After finishing school, 
he was employed by the U.S. Post Office. During the war, he enlisted in the Navy and was sent to 
Charleston, South Carolina. Later, he was transferred to the Naval Receiving Station in Jacksonville and put in charge of the Post 
Office because of his experience. His office was just down the hall from Patricia's office; and when he delivered mail to her office, 
he would invariably linger to chat with Pat. They only dated seven months before being married on January 15, 1944, in the First 
Baptist Church of Jacksonville. Both Barney and Pat Walston, as well as their children and grandchildren, are very thankful for 
their 51 years together. 

When Barney got orders to go to the Pacific Theatre, he wanted Pat to come to Wilson to settle down and get to know his family, 
the town and the people here. Pat says she fell in love with Barney's family, with whom she lived and who became "her" family 
while Barney served another year or so until the war ended. When he returned home, Pat stopped working, and he went back to 
work at the local Post Office. Pat stayed home to be a homemaker and to raise their family. 

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The Walstons are very proud of their three daughters and six grandchildren, whose ages range from 28 to six. Their eldest 
daughter, Sharon, followed in both her father's and her mother's footsteps. She served in the U.S. Air Force five and one half 
years. Married to Pete Mikus, who is now retired from the Air Force, Sharon is working with Civil Service in Germany. Sharon and 
Pete have one daughter, Kim, who lives in Utah and works for the Internal Revenue Service. Pamela Amerson of Wilson is their 
middle daughter and has three sons, Barry, Spencer and Brannan. Barry and Brannan are Highway Patrolmen, and Spencer is 
studying to become a doctor at East Carolina University Medical School. After Sharon and Pam were both in school, Pat returned 
to work as Executive Secretary at the local Draft Board for 19 years. Pam was 12 when the youngest Walston daughter, Cathy, 
joined the family. Cathy is married to David Cook and they have a daughter, Christina (so named because they wanted "Christ" in 
her name), and a son, Casey. The family lives in Lucama, but is active in the Baptist Church in Elm City, where they used to live. 
David is a deacon and Cathy teaches Sunday School and sings as well at weddings. 

Casey, a kindergartner, recently had a nightmare. In trying to comfort him, Cathy reassured him that Jesus was with him and 
would stay with him and take care of him. Then she told him she was going back to Daddy's bed and go to sleep. Casey said, 
"Why can't you stay here and let Jesus go sleep with Daddy?" Casey seems to be following in the footsteps of his forebears — both 
Sharon and Cathy graduated on the Dean's List, and Pam was valedictorian in her class of Operating Team Technicians. Christy, 
now in 5th grade, has been on the honor roll since starting school. 

Barney grew up in Five Points Baptist Church. When Pat and Barney moved from the Five Points area, they decided to join First 
Baptist since it was closer to their new home. Barney taught a boys' class in Sunday School, was Adult Assembly leader and 
held various offices in his own class. Pat was active in WMU for many years and also substituted whenever she was needed to 
teach Sunday School. She also taught the Bethany Class for a long time and fondly remembers some of her former pupils: Hattie 
Wooten, Elizabeth Bent, Gracie Clark, Nellie Watson, Katie Reedy, Estelle Speight, Lucy Rogers, Lillian Joyner, Lillian Harrell and 
Virginia Kelly among others. 

All three of the Walston daughters were baptized at Wilson First. The summer before Sharon was baptized; she and Pam had 
received goggles to wear when swimming. When Sharon walked down into the baptistry, Pam loudly said, "I'm not going in that 
pool without my goggles on!" The last hymn after the baptism was "Bringing in the Sheaves" and Pam was singing it on the way 
home. Her mother listened carefully, and then asked Pam to repeat the words. Pam was singing "Bringing in the Sheets." 

Barney was not always the only male in a predominantly female home. Herbie lived with them and was a special family member 
for nine years. While Sharon was in Tokyo with the Air Force, she and her husband had two poodles. They sent an offspring puppy 
by Air Freight to Barney and Pat. After Pat picked Herbie up at Raleigh-Durham Airport, she took him to Cathy's school. As the 
children crowded around to see the puppy that had flown halfway around the world, one little boy tugged at Pat's skirt and asked 
if the puppy barked in Japanese. As many people know, Pat is very talented in creative writing and poetry. She hopes one day 
to publish her writings, which would greatly please her family. To hear her beautifully worded prayers is a privilege that is always 
spiritually uplifting. She is very much missed at First Baptist Church. Barney comes to Sunday School as often as possible. He is 
a member of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, National Association of Retired Federal Employees and is a former 
state president of Travelers' Protective Association. He loves birds and raises white doves. In the past, he also raised pigeons 
and bantam chickens. 

Pat and Barney Walston, your First Baptist Family wishes you both well. Your positive influence is a joy and an inspiration to all 
who have been touched by your lives. We are thankful God led you to each other and then to First Baptist Church of Wilson. 
(Barney 5/5/01 and Pat 12/21/00) 

Bill and Jo Ann Watson 
"The Senior Scene" January 1998 

They were born in Wayne County a few years apart, she in Goldsboro and he at Sasser's Mill. His 
great-grandfather founded the mill, which until a few years ago still belonged in the family. His family 
moved to Wilson County when he was a year old, and he grew up across the road from their present 
home. He graduated from Rock Ridge High School and joined the Air Force, spending over two years 
in Japan and almost another two years in Texas. 

After living in Raleigh for a year, her family moved to Wilson when she was four. Because her father 
died when she was nine, she and her mother were so close they seemed more like sisters. From the 
time she was nine until she graduated, they lived in Mary and Cedric Woodall's duplex apartment 
near Atlantic Christian College. Except for the years she was away with her husband in service, she 
regularly attended First Baptist of Wilson. She grew up in Girls' Auxiliary, Baptist Training Union and 
the children's choirs. Before graduation, she worked with Pattie Ruffin and was hired as secretary 
to Burt Gillette at the Wilson Recreation Department. After graduation she worked for three years, 
baby-sitting occasionally for the Gillettes as well. 




While he was on leave from Texas, a mutual friend introduced them at a Springhill Presbyterian Youth Fellowship Christmas Eve 
party. Each had dated others, but they were waiting for that someone special. They corresponded for several months, became 
engaged the following September and were married that December 11 when she was 18. Jo Ann and Bill Watson both say that 
it was truly a "marriage made in heaven." At that time, his tour of duty was up and, together, they decided he should reenlist. 
They had been married only six weeks when he was sent to Germany for 18 months! They would become accustomed to being 
separated. 

While Bill was stationed in Germany, Jo Ann lived in Wilson and helped Ethel Wilkerson and Eva Bailey teach first graders in 
Sunday School. Bill and Jo Ann were stationed in Salina, Kansas (home of Dr. Eugene Neeland) for eight years. They found 
Salina First Baptist to be the friendliest of several churches and joined. Bill was later elected a deacon. They both taught four- 
year. -olds in Sunday School, and J Ann was Nursery Director for a year. Both of their daughters, Kathy and Martha, were born 
in Salina. When Kathy was three months old, Bill was sent to Alaska and then to Texas. Kathy and Jo Ann (pregnant with Martha) 
stayed in Wilson with Jo Ann's mother, Lillian Joyner, for six months. Later Lillian moved to Kansas, got an apartment with another 
lady and a job at Penney's "just to be nearer granddaughters." In 1965 they were sent to Albany, Georgia for a year and a half; and 
the next year, Bill spent six months in Okinawa. From 1967 to 1970, they were stationed in Puerto Rico, where they attended the 
Borinquen Baptist Church in Aguadilla, a small town off base. There, "they were on the receiving end of the missionary program" 
because their pastor was a Southern Baptist Missionary from Texas. The service always started with a hymn fest and was very 
JOYous. Bill played softball with his Squadron team and enjoyed fishing. He once won first prize for the largest fish caught in a 
tournament. Kathy spent all her spare time reading and Martha was a "tomboy." Jo Ann said that Martha caught anything that 
moved (bugs, frogs and lizards were very plentiful there) and she climbed anything that didn't move. If Kathy cried, it was usually 
because Martha was chasing her with a live specimen. Martha loved to climb trees, the tetherball pole and shinny up the inside 
of doorways." 

They were next stationed near Springfield, Massachusetts for 15 months. They didn't see the ground from November until April 
because of the snow. The children walked to their school on base. While Bill was in Vietnam and Thailand in 1971 and '72, they 
rented a house in Wilson's Pinehaven for two years from Jack and Annette Tew, whom they met through Beth Carpenter. Lillian 
lived with them and Jo Ann worked part-time at Penney's. When Bill returned he was stationed at Seymour-Johnson in Goldsboro. 
He retired from the Air Force the last day of February, 1973 after 21 years' service and started to work the very next day with the 
U. S. Postal Service, where he worked for over 22 years, all of which were night duty. 

Bill is a member of the Lucama Masonic Lodge, a Scottish Rite Mason, a Shrinerand member of the Sudan Temple in New Bern. 
He loves the outdoors, yard work, flowers, shrubs, etc., and is building a bird sanctuary in the back yard. Besides fishing, he used 
to enjoy working on cars. Jo Ann used to crochet, cross-stitch and sew the girls' dresses, but now enjoys reading inspirational 
books almost exclusively. She and Bill only watch TV selectively. 

Their daughter, Kathy is married to David Daignault and lives in Charlotte. She was a school psychologist for 13 years, but now 
has her own Floral Design business. Martha was an ICU nurse at Wilson Memorial Hospital for 11 years, but is now with Home 
Health and Hospice. She is an active member of First Baptist, sings in the Sanctuary Choir, the Spirit Choir and is a member of 
the Adult Handbell Choir. A highlight of Jo Ann and Bill's year was the recent Handbell Choir Festival at the Raleigh Civic Center, 
where dozens of Handbell Choirs participated. 

Jo Ann and Bill are very actively involved in most all phases of First Baptist Church, including worship services, Sunday School, 
Brotherhood and WMU. Jo Ann is Mission Action Chairman of WMU Group V, led by Sue Copeland, and has served on the 
Sunday School Nominating Committee. Bill is an inactive deacon and one of the good cooks in the Brotherhood; they have both 
served on the Communion Committee, as well as the Orientation Committee. For a time, Jo Ann's mother, Lillian, resided with 
her sister-in-law, a former First Baptist member, Mrs. A. C. (Nora) Joyner, but for the last four years of her life, Lillian lived with 
Bill and Jo Ann, during which time Jo Ann devotedly cared for her mother. The most difficult time in the Watsons' life was the loss 
of each of their mothers last year, exactly one week apart. However, their faith in God, their belief in life everlasting, the support 
of their church family and the love of their own family members have seen them through, and they are grateful for the treasured 
memories. 

Doris Weaver 
"The Senior Scene" May 2000 

She knew Doug Murray before any of us at First Baptist in Wilson knew him! Doris Mae Mitchell was 
born May 2, 1924 in rural Gates County in the town of Trotville, so named because trotters (horses 
pulling two-wheel cars) were raised in the vicinity. Doris went to school with another girl named Doris 
and to differentiate, our Doris was known as Doris Mae. 

Nowadays, if anyone calls her "Doris Mae," she knows it is someone "from her past" I She says that 
she had a happy childhood with wonderful parents, Christiana Simpson and John William Pruden 

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Mitchell, and her two older sisters and one younger brother. Her mother taught children of all ages in a one-room schoolhouse 
and often told of cracks in the schoolroom floor wide enough to see the chickens underneath. Her father owned and operated a 
general merchandise store and bought the first automobile in town. He was also Postmaster and Stationmaster of the local train 
station. One of Doris' fond memories is of the engineer letting her and her siblings ride the train to leave a car on a siding to be 
unloaded later for her father's store. 

One day a lady got off the train and nobody came to meet her, so the children invited her to go home with them. The lady was 
graciously welcomed by Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell, who fed her supper and bedded her down. The guest made no effort to leave and 
stayed an entire week, never turning her hand to help with anything around the house. Her mother did not complain, but her father 
"finally put his foot down" and went to see the family who was supposed to meet her and only then did they come for her! Another 
memory is the year that Doris, her brother and sisters begged their father to plant a cotton patch so they could earn some money. 
He did not want to, but finally relented on the condition that if he planted the cotton, the children would have to do all the work 
themselves. They stuck to the bargain and when the cotton was harvested and sold, they earned the grand sum of $1 .58 each. 

Doris graduated from Hobbsville High School which was only a mile from their home too close for the children to ride the school 
bus. Most of the time, her father would take them to school, but if he was busy in the afternoon, her mother would hitch up the 
pony cart and come to take them home. East Carolina Teachers College (now East Carolina University) was about one hundred 
miles from her home and because of the gas shortage during World War II years, buses were crowded and sometimes Doris 
would have to stand up all the way. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Home Economics and Science in 1946 and taught Home 
Economics in Rich Square a year before going to Washington, D.C. to work in the office of a general practitioner. She returned to 
North Carolina and taught Home Economics in Weeksville for a couple of years. After a new school with modem appliances and 
sewing machines was built in Gatesville, she enjoyed teaching Home Economics there for about ten years. 

During that time, she met her future husband, Benjamin P. Weaver. He was a patrolman and gave her a ticket for driving too fast. 
They were rooming and boarding at the same hotel, became good friends and then went together about a year before marrying in 
1957. They continued to live at the hotel, where most of the residents were married and a matronly manager cooked and served 
meals. Doris remembers a Methodist minister who came to play cards but always drew the shades first. After Ben became a 
banker, they moved to Lumberton for two years and then back to Lewiston. Doris continued to teach wherever they lived and 
taught second grade in Lewiston about fifteen years until she retired. During that time, she taught Adult Sunday School a while 
before finding her niche teaching young children in Sunday School. 

Doris and Ben adopted two children. Their son, David Benjamin, a machinist in Lewiston, is single. Their daughter, Laura 
Blackman, graduated from Atlantic Christian (now Barton) College with a nursing degree and is currently employed at Healthsouth 
Surgecenter of Wilson. She and her husband, Hunter, have one daughter, Morgan, eight years old. 

Doris' husband became a credit manager with Harrington (later Gregory) Manufacturing Company which made tobacco farm 
equipment, and worked with them until his death in 1989 from cancer. Rev. Doug Murray, their pastor, had already moved to 
Elizabeth City, but returned to visit Ben in the hospital and later to conduct his funeral. After Ben died, Doris got very sick and her 
daughter brought her to Wilson. She was in Wilson Memorial Hospital for six weeks, where doctors discovered she had a blood 
clot. After surgery, her body went into shock and she had an "out of life" or "near death" experience. She saw Ben and he said to 
her, "Do you want to come now or do you want to wait until later?" She had peace of mind and from then on, she began improving 
until good health returned. 

However, Doris was not comfortable living alone and moved to Wilson to be near her daughter and her family. She was happy 
to find her former pastor now leading First Baptist Church and promptly moved her membership. She compliments First Baptist 
Senior Adults as being the most friendly people she has ever met. 

Doris Weaver is humble and does not mind admitting that she is quiet and shy; however, she is a capable and very talented lady. 
She designed the plans for the family's first home, as well as the addition to another one. Not only did she oversee the building 
of both, she even did the painting and made curtains and bedspreads. She used to make most of her daughter's clothes and do 
counted cross-stitch embroidery. She has also done some decoupaging, including a beautiful antique- 
looking box with a Nags Head motif. She enjoys being near her family (especially her granddaughter), 
growing a few flowers on her deck, participating in the activities at First Baptist Church, reading and 
going out with her new friends. (5/8/06) 

John and Carolyn Webb 
"The Senior Scene" October 2001 

Having shared the same bassinet when they were infants, they feel they were destined to fall in love 
as adults and marry! Their mothers had been friends at Meredith College and graduated together 
in 1919. When the time came, her mother loaned his mother the family bassinet for him to sleep in. 

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When she was born four years later, it became her bed. John Webb was born September 18, 1926 to William Devin and Ella 
Johnson Webb in Rocky Mount where his father was on the tobacco market. John was the second of three children; he has an 
older sister, Flora Webb Plyler of Wilson, and a younger brother, Archibald Webb of Indian Beach, Florida. When the tobacco 
market was over, the Webbs moved back to the family homeplace in Oxford. They lived there until his father went into the tobacco 
warehouse business in Wilson, at which time the family moved here. His father enjoyed the warehouse business and worked 
there until his death. 

While growing up, John's family spent most of their summers in a little spot in Scotland County called Riverton, the same place 
his mother was brought to visit by his grandparents. The Lumber River is the main attraction. It has a sandy bottom and the black 
water river is always very cold, thereby cooling its inhabitants during the hot months of July and August. John's great-great-great- 
grandparents farmed the land and the family survived the Civil War there. The ones who visit are their descendants and include 
many cousins. Canoeing was also a popular sport there. It was a rite of passage at Riverton for the boys turning sixteen to take a 
canoe trip down the Lumber River to Georgetown, South Carolina. There was always an older cousin to accompany them. Robert 
McMillan of Raleigh was appointed to accompany John, and Robert tells the story of John's mother glvmg him instructions: "Don't 
let John get wet — he has asthma!" Some say Riverton is more a state of mind than a place. Carolyn adds that it takes getting used 
to by in-laws, but she has grown to love it and one of her favorite pastimes is fishing! Still living in the area are Lumbee Indians, 
who some people believe are descended from the Croatans. 

After John graduated from Charles L. Coon High School in 1944, he joined the Navy where he served for two years in San 
Diego, California. Following his military service he enrolled in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Planning to go to 
law school, he was allowed to take only the necessary courses and finished his Bachelor of Arts degree in three years. He then 
entered Columbia Law School in New York, earned his Bachelor of Law degree in 1952 and worked at No. 2 Wall Street for about 
two years. The South kept tugging at his heartstrings, so he returned to North Carolina, and while establishing his North Carolina 
residency; he worked at the Institute of Government in Chapel Hill. 

John opened an office for the practice of law in Wilson, later taking into his firm Russell Kirby, who became a North Carolina 
Senator, and James B. Hunt, Jr., who became Governor of North Carolina. Governor Bob Scott appointed John to the Superior 
Court Bench; Governor Hunt appointed him to the Court of Appeals, and he was later elected to the North Carolina Supreme 
Court, where he served twelve years. 

Martha Carolyn Harris was born in Rocky Mount September 5, 1 930 to Charles C. and Beulah Joyner Harris. She graduated from 
Rocky Mount High School in 1949. Coming from a long line of Baptists, she thinks she disappointed her mother by not choosing 
to enter Meredith College. Instead, she "went with the Moravians" to Salem College in Winston-Salem, where she earned her 
Sociology degree in 1952. At that time career choices were almost limited to teacher, nurse, secretary — or "welfare lady." She 
says that she has always been concerned about the underdogs of the world, so she became a welfare lady and feels it was a 
good choice for her. Both her mother and father were strong First Baptist Church members in Rocky Mount, where Carolyn joined 
when she was nine years old. Her father was Chairman of the Deacons for two terms. The week before he died of a heart attack 
he told the deacons that he had been tithing during those terms and they were the happiest years of his life. 

John's family was also strong Baptists. Meredith College and Wake Forest College loomed large in his family history. A cousin 
had been a missionary to China. His maternal grandfather was editor of "Charity and Children," and his aunt; Lois Johnson was 
Dean of Women at Wake Forest College. While she was Dean, both she and John were delegates to the Baptist State Convention 
and when the Dean spoke up for allowing dancing at Wake Forest College because the students were going to another town to 
dance, the Convention actually "booed" her off the stage! John's uncle, Gerald Johnson, was a journalist and historian, and his 
papers are now in the Library at Wake Forest University. 

During the time John lived and worked in Chapel Hill, he went to a Spinsters Club dance in Durham, where he met Carolyn, who 
lived and worked in Durham. The babies who had slept in the same bassinet had grown up and met each other! About two years 
later, they met again in Wilson where John had opened a law practice. They began dating and were married on September 13, 
1958, ending Carolyn's career as a welfare lady. When she moved from Rocky Mount to Wilson, she felt that she had moved 
1,700 miles down the road instead of 17! 

John joined First Baptist in Wilson when he was a young teenager. He has served on the Board of Deacons and has taught the 
Men's Class many years, a position he still holds. He is a Trustee of the North Carolina Baptist State Convention. Carolyn joined 
Wilson First soon after marrying John and moving to Wilson. She feels very fortunate to have become a member of the Church 
soon after Bill Bussey became our minister. Carolyn has been an active member of the WMU many years. 

The Webbs' first child, Caroline, was born in 1960 and her brother William D. "Will" in 1962. Caroline lives in Littleton, Colorado 
with her husband, David Smart and their three children, two girls and a boy. Caroline is a homemaker but also works for an 
insurance company. The children are all "Smart": Martha (13), Patricia (11) and Wilson (10). The Webbs' son, Will, lives in Raleigh 
where he practices law. Since John's retirement, he works as an attorney in Will's office helping him. Carolyn says that it is also 
keeping John's mind working. 

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John's favorite pastimes are attending athletic contests and reading. He is an authority on the life of Winston Churchill. He 
volunteered at the North Carolina Bar Association for many years. Carolyn worked as a volunteer with the Children's Theater 
when their children were young. For seven years, she volunteered at Hope Station as an interviewer of people seeking financial 
aid, food, clothing and counseling. She was also Manager of "The Nook" gift shop for five or six years after the children left to go 
to college. At one time, Carolyn attended Atlantic Christian College as an Arts student in Sculpturing. 

The Webbs are kind and caring, loving and very family-oriented, with a deep concern for friends. Both of them are talented, 
intelligent and very well read. They are loyal and devoted members of First Baptist Church. John and Carolyn Webb are certainly 
a great credit of our Church, our community and the entire State of North Carolina. We at First Baptist Church of Wilson are proud 
to claim them as our own. (John 9/19/08 and Carolyn 11/8/07) 




Hester Webb 
"The Senior Scene" May 1994 

Hester Strickland was born June 30, 1913 in Stantonsburg, one of six girls. Hester met her husband- 
to-be, Marvin Webb, in the third grade at Stantonsburg Elementary School and "has loved him ever 
since." After she graduated from Stantonsburg High School her family moved to Wilson. Some of 
her sisters were working here, and Hester wanted to go to Atlantic Christian College. With the help 
of her sister, Eunice Davis, with whom she now lives, Hester took a year of undergraduate work and 
then a one-year business course taught by Miss Agnes Peele. Later, Hester became a bookkeeper at 
Herring's Drug Store. 

Hester began attending First Baptist around 1930 and was planning to join the church, but had not 
made a commitment. One Sunday, Rev. Blount's wife, who was her Sunday School teacher, gave 
Hester a tiny rolled-up note which said, "I'm praying you'll join the church this morning." Hester did just 
that and later taught second grade Sunday School with Kathryn Easom. 



Hester and Marvin started dating when she was about 15, and they were married in 1939. In 1942, Hester stopped working at 
Herring's to become a full-time homemaker and mother to their only child, a daughter. Mary Lu Webb Williford now lives in Raleigh 
and is widowed. She does business as "The Lollipop Lady" in all of North Carolina, as well as out of state by mail. 

The most impressive ceremony at First Baptist that Hester remembers was when her husband Marvin, Margaret Daughtridge's 
husband, Harvey, Clarence Mullen, Roland Stott and perhaps one other gentleman were all baptized in a nighttime service. All 
the wives were seated together on the second pew of the old church at Nash and Pine Streets. 

At one time, Hester was an active member of the Eastern Star. Her life changed when Marvin became an invalid. In order to take 
care of him the next 15 years, Hester began operating the Cottage Gift Shop out of their home. She ran a very charming and 
popular gift shop for 34 years until her health forced her to retire. She has broken the same hip twice, having quite a long and 
difficult recovery the last time. Her first outing afterwards was planned by Mary Lu to celebrate her 80th birthday with all her family. 
The three living sisters and their extended families get together quite often. 

Now that Hester has the time, she enjoys reading. She and Eunice appreciate and enjoy having visitors. You may think you are 
going to cheer them up if you visit, but you will come away feeling much better than when you went. Hester Webb and Eunice 
Davis are lovely ladies with many interesting experiences and stories to share. (2/11/05) 



Ruby Wells 
"The Senior Scene" February 2001 




Ruby Etheridge was born July 8, 1925 near Roney Williamson's Store off Highway 42 West in Wilson 
County next to Robert and Nora Pridgen Etheridge. Ruby was the oldest of five girls and two boys, of 
whom one sister is now deceased. 

Ruby started going to Church and Sunday School when she was in grade school, but did not attend 
regularly. She often went with her grandparents to Contentnea Primitive Baptist Church, where the 
families of Bill Mercer, Margaret Morris, Sallie Boswell and Bob Boswell attended. Bob Boswell's 
grandfather, Robert H. Boswell was the preacher there at one time. In later years, Ruby would get 
up early and walk to a girl friend's house, in order to attend services at Milbournie Free Will Baptist 
Church with her friend and her family. The father taught Sunday School, and it was very meaningful 
to Ruby. She also loved singing the old hymns and later sang in a choir at another church. As time 

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passed, Ruby says that she neglected the church but her church experiences remained in the back of her mind. 

While Ruby was at Rock Ridge High School, her grandmother was raising her cousin and would not let the girl date unless Ruby 
went along. Ruby dated Lloyd Edward "L. E." Watson who lived in her neighborhood and went to the same school. T'hey went 
together about a year and a half and, with her mother's knowledge, were married in Emporia, Virginia, shortly before her sixteenth 
birthday. 

They made their home in Fort Walton Beach, Florida during the early forties near where L. E. was stationed in the Air Force until 
he finished his service obligation. He was a "born mechanic" and was happy to leave his job "guarding an airplane." Ruby was 
employed by a department store. 

Ruby and L E. had one daughter, Ruby Joyce, who was born in 1944 at Eglin Air Force Base. Writing her testimony as a Sunday 
School assignment while attending First Assembly of God Church in 1945, Ruby said that before her daughter was born she 
prayed to God to use her daughter in some special way. She says that at the time she "really didn't know that much about God 
or the Bible." However, she's thankful God hears every prayer. Her daughter's first job was driving a florist truck. When the owner 
soon saw how artistically Joyce would arrange flowers, she immediately promoted her to designer. Joyce has never married and 
continues to work at a florist shop at Eglin Air Force Base while living in the same house she has lived in since first grade. 

After returning to Wilson in 1 945, Ruby took Seventh-Day Adventist Bible correspondence courses with a friend. As she "came to 
know more about God and the Bible and about being saved, he asked the Lord to come into her heart, make her a new person 
and to make His Word real to her. And so, at the age of five, she became a Christian in her own home. About that time, Marsh 
Swamp Free Will Baptist held a revival, and Ruby attended with her sister, a friend and the friend's daughter. Her sister joined the 
church that night and a little later Ruby joined and was baptized October 15, 1950. 

Ruby and L. E. moved back to Florida in 1951 and lived there until L. E. died of a heart attack in 1977. Ruby returned to Wilson 
in 1980, when she married another former schoolmate, Clyde Bernice Wells. It was during this time that she worked for North 
Carolina Department of Transportation under Margaret Barefoot. Ruby and Bernice were married for 12 years before he died of a 
heart attack in 1 992. Since then Ruby Wells "has had lots of setbacks," including a heart attack in 1 998, and at times she could not 
take part in church as she would have liked. She did attend as often as she could and "knew God loved her and was the answer" 
in all she faced. In her testimony, she says that she knows "God loves us all, died for us and can save us, and forgives us for 
everything that happens in our lives. He wants us to share that with others, so they too can come to know Him. It's a wonderful 
experience to know Him and how life within changes and gives us more meaning to love our brothers and sisters and reach out 
to them in love to know our Lord and Savior, too. I give thanks and praise to Him for everything." 

On October 16, 1989, Ruby moved her membership to First Baptist Church, principally because her sister, Barbara Kelsey, was 
attending and Ruby wanted to accompany and encourage her Although Barbara can no longer attend, Ruby remains active in 
Church and Sunday School where she has been known to give beautiful devotionals. 

Ruby is a talented homemaker. She has always loved to cook and says if everything were as easy as cooking, she would have 
it made. She also enjoys canning and preserving. With inspirational books all around her, it is obvious Ruby loves to read, and 
she spends time in prayer and reads her Bible faithfully. She enjoys writing prose and poetry and drawing with charcoal or pen all 
from imagination. She attends Art Classes at the Wilson County Senior Center weekly. For several years she has donated packs 
of her hand-decorated note paper to the FBC Christmas Auction, where they brought lots of money. She also enjoys gardening 
and doing clothing alterations. One of her best customers is Tom Riley, with whom she has formed a close friendship. 

Ruby Wells is a sincere, caring, deeply committed Christian. She opens her heart of gold as wide as she opens her door to 
welcome visitors into her home, which is crowded with mementos and memories of a lifetime. Ruby is "down to earth" and easily 
makes home folks out of company. Most importantly, she readily shares her faith in God in ordinary conversation anywhere and 
everywhere. 

Glenn and Linda Wheeler 
"The Senior Scene" January 2000 

Her father was in the Marine Corps at Cherry Point when he met and married her mother who lived 
in Wilson. Linda Faye Johnston is not a Senior Citizen, having been born April 28, 1947, but she 
does qualify as a First Baptist Earth Angel. When she was three years old, her family moved from 
Wilson to her father's hometown of Montgomery, Alabama. She has two sisters and one brother. 
Her father was a police officer and was injured in some of the Montgomery racial confrontations, 
after which they decided to return to Wilson where Linda's aging maternal grandmother lived. As a 
teenager, Linda thought Wilson very dull and backward after having lived in a large city where there 
was plenty of entertainment. She missed her friends, and with her parents' permission, moved back 

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to Montgomery and rented an apartment with a girlfriend. Her parents called every Sunday evening for a year and a half. After 
they missed calling one time, Linda worried about them, decided she needed to be near them and consequently returned to 
Wilson once again. 

Glenn Wheeler was born September 9, 1931, was educated in Wilson City Schools and graduated from Charles L. Coon High 
School in 1949. He was drafted and served in the U.S. Army for two years in the early fifties. He married hastily before being 
shipped to Korea and upon his return, established a home in Wilson with his wife and son, Phil. Later they had two more sons, 
Tommy and Mark. When the marriage failed after 20 years, Glenn was determined not to remarry because he thought he was a 
failure. 

In the late fifties, Glenn worked in construction business in the Washington, D.C. area. After returning to Wilson, he earned his 
Bachelor of Arts degree at Atlantic Christian College in 1965 and his Master of Education in 1971 at North Carolina State. He 
began working as Training Supervisor at Firestone when they opened in Wilson and later taught Human Relations classes. 

Leaving Firestone, he became Director of Evening Programs and later Vocational Education Director at Wilson Technical School, 
where he met Linda, who was a receptionist/secretary/switchboard operator there for two years. The employees had a habit of 
gathering in Glenn's office on Friday afternoons. Linda was impressed because he was always full of good humor and wit, and 
she likes to be around happy people. Both Linda and Glenn were divorced by this time, and her fellow employees kept urging her 
to "feed Glenn because he is so thin and has to eat out all the time." So she invited him to a Sunday night supper. She had rented 
an apartment and contracted to have it painted by "Mr. Wheeler," who did painting and repairs part-time on nights and weekends. 
The work took some time, and they got to know each other better with long conversations and hamburgers on the front steps. 
Before long, they knew they loved each other, but Glenn was still "altar shy" until finally one day Linda asked, "Are you going to 
marry me"? He answered, "Well, yes!" They had dated for a year and a half and were married September 20, 1975. 

Before this, Glenn had rented an older, very isolated home near Black Creek in the middle of a 200-hundred-acre farm which 
is where they made their home — city folks living in the country. Only one room was heated in the wintertime when the well, the 
pump and even the toothpaste would freeze! Glenn installed a hot water heater, or Linda would not have lived there. It wasn't 
long before Glenn's three sons, Phil (by then grown), Tommy (15) and Mark (6) came to live with them, and Linda had an instant 
family! The day Jay was born, Glenn "drove her around in a truck all day on bumpy dirt roads" and told her, "You are going to have 
this baby today!" And she did— on the evening of December 31, 1977. 

They were known among their neighbors as "the man with the beard and that young lady in the blue house." A lot of them thought 
Linda was Glenn's daughter. Braxton Pittman, who handled farm rentals for Branch Banking and Trust Company, had given them 
permission to improve the property any way they wished, so they painted the house Williamsburg blue with maroon shutters 
before it was fashionable. The neighboring farmers would "advise" them to do all kinds of farming chores, like when planting corn, 
the point had to be straight down. They told Glenn he needed to "gas the tobacco plants," meaning to cover the plants and shoot 
in propane gas. Not knowing any better, Glenn bought a pump and gasoline and actually sprayed the plants setting them on fire! 
Both Linda and Glenn smoked cigarettes at that time, and Glenn says that it's a wonder he didn't cause an explosion. They loved 
their privacy in the country, but after six years moved to Wilson. 

As children and adults, Linda and Glenn have always been involved in a church. When they lived in the country, they attended 
Daniels Chapel Church for a while, but it was never "their" church. After moving into town, they became very active at Grace 
Baptist Church. Glenn taught Sunday School and for many years Linda headed up the cooking team for Wednesday night 
suppers whenever her Sunday School class was responsible for the meal. 

When Jay was a teenager, he enjoyed attending First Baptist with the Youth Group on Wednesday nights and Sundays. Glenn 
began working at Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf in 1987, where he and Clay Johnson became close friends. When 
Clay offered to pay for their meals if the family would come to the First Baptist Church on a Wednesday night, they accepted. 
Linda and Glenn would rush from Sunday School at Grace Baptist to worship service at First Baptist in order for the family to 
worship together. Early on, Clay told Assistant Pastor Lynwood Walters that Glenn and his family were going to come to the First 
Baptist Church and they did join in 1 990. 

Linda had worked at North Carolina Special Care Center as Personnel Assistant more than 20 years and was Chairman of the 
Hospitality Committee during that time. They sometimes served as many as 200 or 300+ people at special events. She had taken 
a year off from work when she was approached about the hostess job which was vacant at First Baptist, and she was soon hired 
part-time. It is amazing how she plans and prepares many meals without a specific number of reservations. She says that she 
just needs to take in consideration what special activity is going on, for instance, when families might attend a children's or youth 
performance. 

Linda and Glenn taught ninth-grade Sunday School together for about eight years before Lynwood asked Glenn to follow C.C. 
Burriss in teaching the men's class. Linda continued teaching the ninth graders alone for a time. She is now President of our 
Baptist Women's WMU. 

105 



For years they rented a condo at the beach for summer vacations. Glenn would fish for supper — but seldom catch enough. 
Linda's mother and sisters would visit for a few days, and Jay would invite his friends. Finally after ten years, Glenn said, "Did I 
ever tell you that I don't like the beach"? So now she goes with her mother and sisters, and she and Glenn sometimes go to Myrtle 
Beach where there's entertainment and "stuff to do" and no pressure to "catch suppers." 

In 1995, Glenn retired from ENCSD and started his own business doing what he had continued doing part-time — carpentry, 
roofing, painting, etc. More than anything else, Glenn says that he enjoys Bible Study. He buys and subscribes to books to help 
him teach his men's class and looks at televised sermons to get ideas. He sings in the Senior Adult Choir, serves on the Building 
and Grounds Committee and is a former deacon. He was active as a Shriner and Mason for 15 years. He is also a Master 
Gardener. 

Glenn arises between four and five o'clock in the morning and walks a mile every day at six. He has a shop in back of the house ■ 
and now has it well equipped. He enjoys woodworking and just building things, such as tables for Jay's apartment. 



Linda was active in the Wilson Shrinettes for ten years and served as President during that time. She loves cooking, spends a lot 
of time in her own kitchen, has catered wedding receptions and sometimes helps Mary Frances Crawley cook and serve meals 
or parties. She collects and reads cookbooks, and Glenn knows if he gives her a cookbook, it's sure to make a hit. Linda dropped 
out of a beginner's drawing class "because everyone else seemed advanced," and is enrolled to begin a pottery class in January. 

They called each other "Mr." and "Mrs." when they worked together; now they call each other "Baby." Each is very considerate 
of the other's preferences, and they love to do things together as a family. Their home is the gathering place for holiday dinners, 
and everybody was there Thanksgiving. Phil and his wife, Debbie, who live in Rocky Mount, have five children, two girls and three 
boys from ages 21 to 5. Mark and his wife, Vivian, live in Raleigh with their two year-old twin daughters. 

Tommy spent four years in the Navy (where he developed great habits of neatness and organization) and lives in a Wilson condo. 
Jay now lives in the apartment back of the Wheeler home. Included in the household is a 15-year-old cocker spaniel named 
"Missy," a cat named "Brinka," and "Bud," the cockatiel bird who serves as an alarm when anyone comes to the back door. 

Linda and Glenn work well together in cooking and serving — Glenn helps Linda at home and with special luncheons, dinners, 
receptions, etc. They communicate well with each other and are very compatible. They are looking forward to celebrating their 
25th Wedding Anniversary in 2000. With his abilities for carpentry, painting and repairs and her talent with color, comfort and 
convenience, it is obvious that they have enjoyed redoing their older home on Gold Street into a very attractively decorated, cozy 
and comfortable home. 

Linda and Glenn Wheeler love the Lord and it shows with all their time, effort, devotion and dedication in all dimensions of First 
Baptist Church. They are caring, generous, efficient and have outgoing personalities with a good sense of humor (and can be 
outspoken when necessary). Let us hope we never lose them, because the hole they would leave would be far too large to fill. 

Bill and Hilda Whitley 
"The Senior Scene" November 1998 

He was born in the springtime and was raised in Walstonsburg, North Carolina (population less than 
two hundred), the 'knee baby' or the seventh of eight children of John S. and Hattie Dail Whitley. In 
order to attend Church and Sunday School each Sunday, the family went to four different churches- 
-two Free Will Baptist, one Christian and one Methodist. Each church held services once a month. 
He was baptized at age 13 in Contentnea Creek between Walstonburg and Snow Hill and became a 
member of Howell Swamp Free Will Baptist Church. 

When he was six years old, she was born in the early fall and grew up in Whiteville, North Carolina 
(population five thousand). She was the first of two daughters of Fred L. and Eva Dudley Stevens. 
She joined the First Baptist Church there when she was 12. Her sister died in 1976 and her father 
died in 1990. Although legally blind at age 83, her mother still maintains the home place with the 
family's assistance. 

He served in the U. S. Army during World War II and afterward attended N. C. State University, Banking School at the University of 
Wisconsin in Madison, and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Employed for nine years by Wachovia 
Bank and Trust Company, he worked first in Winston-Salem and then Raleigh. She graduated from business school at Woman's 
College, University of North Carolina at Greensboro and returned to Whiteville to work in the bookkeeping department at First 
National Bank. In 1954, she moved to Raleigh to work at Wachovia Bank. It was there that a young bachelor in the accounting 
department soon asked her supervisor to introduce them. Hilda Stevens and William Henry Whitley began dating and were 
married on November 13 the following year at First Baptist Church in Whiteville. 

106 







Bill had been offered a job as auditor with The National Bank of Wilson, so they moved into College Court Apartments Thanksgiving 
Day as newlyweds. Some of their neighbors became lifetime friends, among whom were Evelyn and Gene Neeland, Billie and 
Wayne Broome and Helen and Wiley Barnes. (Helen's sister, Bet, was their next-door neighbor.) Their first visitors from First 
Baptist of Wilson were Jennie and Lewis Lee and Rachel and Raymond Stone. The Whitleys visited the church, liked it and joined 
soon afterward. Later Bill served as Secretary of the Board of Deacons. 

Hilda and Bill bought a new home in Seven Hills in November 1956, and moved in three weeks before their first child, Lynn, 
was born. First Baptist members enrolled Lynn in the Cradle Roll Department and presented her in the customary manner with 
a treasured little white Bible. Their son, John, was born two years later on their third anniversary, and their younger daughter, 
Paige, was born on Thanksgiving Day, 1961. As the children became of age, they participated in Sunbeams, Girls Auxiliary, 
Royal Ambassadors, Cub Scouts, Choir, Handbells, Youth Fellowship, Vacation Bible School and retreats and activities at The 
House. During those years Hilda taught four-year-olds in Sunday School, volunteered in VBS, chaperoned at The House and on 
trips, was co-Den Mother of Cub Scouts and helped with other activities when needed. Their home on Wilshire Boulevard since 
1964 became an empty nest all too soon. Lynn graduated from Meredith College and has a Master's Degree in Library Science 
from UNC-Chapel Hill. She is married and lives in Raleigh with her husband, Joseph D. Joyner, Jr., an attorney, and their three 
children-Sarah Lynn (14), Joseph (12) and David (9). They are members of Trinity Baptist Church. 

John is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill and is Regional Executive for First Citizens Bank. He is married and lives in Wilmington 
with his wife, Patti, and their three children-- Will (13)Celia (10) and Meredith (8). They are members of First Presbyterian Church. 
Paige is a graduate of Peace College and UNC-Chapel Hill. She is married to John Walker, an engineer, and they live in Hickory 
with their son, Hunter (11). They are members of Bethany Lutheran Church. 

Bill continued working with First Union National (formerly The National) Bank for 31 years, retiring in 1987. During his career, Bill 
was very active in civic and community affairs, serving on various boards and commissions of the City and County of Wilson. He 
served as Trustee and Secretary-Treasurer of the Wilson County Public Library for more than 1 5 years, during which time a new 
addition almost doubled the size of the library while keeping its original beauty intact. He was active in Jaycees and served as 
Exalted Ruler of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He is still a member of the Wilson Kiwanis Club. He has volunteered 
In the United Way, Red Cross and other charitable organizations. 

The Whitleys enjoy visiting with their family, reading, ACC basketball, doing a little gardening and taking short trips. They say that 
First Baptist has always been an important part of their lives, and they feel that the dedicated leaders, teachers and training and 
values the family received here have greatly influenced their children to be the kind of parents they are today. The Whitleys are 
very grateful for all the many blessings that have made for them a wonderful life. (Bill 9/6/04) 

Onnie Whitley 
"The Senior Scene" October 2000 

Onnie Walston was born the oldest of four children (three girls and one boy) in Greene County on January 
25, 1926 to Minnie Elizabeth Dildy and Melford Douglas Walston. Onnie joined the Spring Branch Free 
Will Baptist Church when she was in her middle teens and graduated from Walstonburg High School in 
April 1943. 

In May she entered Carolina General Hospital School of Nursing and while there became a member of the 
United States Nurses Cadet Corps, which stipulated that they would serve one year in the U.S. Army as a 
Registered Nurse if World War II continued. However, the war ended two years before Onnie's graduation 
in 1947. 

One day while the student nurses were playing softball, two soldiers home on leave came by. One of 

them, Wallace Lee "Shorty" Whitley, knew one of the girls and they set up a double date, with Onnie dating 

Shorty's friend. About a week later, Shorty drove by and asked Onnie for a date, which she accepted, and 

that was the beginning of their courtship. After her graduation, Onnie practiced the Art of Nursing as a Registered Nurse at the 

Rocky Mount Sanitarium in Rocky Moun-North Carolina from 1947 to 1950. Exactly five years from their first date Onnie and 

Shorty were married on April 29, 1950 in the Five Points Missionary Baptist Church of Wilson, where Shorty was a member. 

In 1960, the Whitleys moved their membership to First Baptist Church, where Onnie served as a Brownie and Girl Scout Leader 
for three years. She became a member of Adult V Fidelis Sunday School Class, where she is a perennial Group Leader and has 
served as Class President. She is a member of Sallie Boswell's WMU Group X and volunteers regularly with the After School 
Program. She is a sister-in-law of FBC members Mary Ella Barnes and Sarah Whitley, aunt to Chuck Whitley, Maria Whitley and 
Mona Fulghum and a cousin of Mary Woodall. (Mary and Onnie's mothers were first cousins.) 

Onnie and Shorty's daughter, Laura Lee Whitley, was born in 1959, graduated from Fike High School in 1977 and from Meredith 

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College in 1981. In 1980, Lee married William James Black, Jr., a Certified Public Accountant in Raleigh, where they make their 
home. Lee is a homemaker for her husband and their two sons, William, III (10) and Harrison Lee (7). Onnie's favorite pastime is 
keeping Will and Harrison. 

Onnie, too, was a stay-at-home Mom until Lee was sixteen, but then she returned to nursing in 1975 with the State of North 
Carolina at the NO Special Care Center, a Wilson facility for the mentally and physically handicapped. She became certified in 
Geriatrics and, like cream in milk before homogenization, rose from Registered Nurse to Head Nurse to Supervisor to Assistant 
Director of Nursing. Once, when she was going to push a wheel chair patient into a private area for a family visit she tried and 
tried and tried again and the wheel chair just would not move. A nearby shrill-voiced patient yelled, "If you take off the brakes, you 
can move him!" Onnie laughs about it now, but it was very embarrassing for her then. 

Onnie's most memorable vacation was the year she and Shorty flew in a Pan Am 747 from Washington to New York to Frankfurt, 
West Germany. There, they rented a car in order to retrace Shorty's tour of duty while he was in the U.S. Army. They toured 
Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, France and Holland. They found the Church on the Mosel River in Luxembourg 
where Shorty once stood guard on night duty under sniper fire, and they took pictures of the front wall where bullet holes can 
still be seen. They could not locate the particular apple tree where Shorty was wounded in the leg. Taking a photograph of an 
exhausted Shorty leaning on a parking meter after a long day of touring and shopping, Onnie told him to "take off his glasses, hold 
in his belly and smile," and he answered, "That is too much to remember." Having served at the N.C. Special Care Center for 17 
years, Onnie retired in 1992, and Shorty died in the spring of the next year. 

Besides grandmothering, Onnie enjoys reading, gardening, painting (house trim and fence) and playing bridge in two clubs. She 
is a member of the Carolina General Nurses Alumnae, the Forest Hills Garden Club, where she is Corresponding Secretary, and 
she has a great sense of humor— always cheerful and friendly. She is thoughtful, kind and compassionate-a good listener. She 
is dependable, capable and intelligent— a well-rounded person, faithful to her family, friends and First Baptist Church. (4/17/08) 




Sarah Whitley 
"The Senior Scene" April 1998 

Sarah Pridgen was born at the Fairfield Dairy homeplace near Stantonsburg in Wilson County to 
Emma and Marion L. "M. L." Pridgen, Sr. This beautiful home is now listed on the Historical Register 
and is occupied by Mrs. Donohue Bottoms. Sarah attended Stantonsburg schools through the ninth 
grade, and her family then moved to Wilson, where she graduated from Charles L. Coon High School 
at age fifteen. Sarah says that there are two reasons, the first being there were only eleven grades at 
the time. She reluctantly admits the other reason is that she skipped the seventh grade! To become an 
accredited high school the Stantonsburg School officials pulled a few students from several classes to 
meet the requirements for a four-year high school. 

Sarah had turned 16 that summer when she was run over by a car and suffered a knee injury. After 
recuperating some months later she began her first job at McLellan's where she was employed for six 
years. 



A young man named Charles W. Whitley (affectionately known as "Shiney") had dated Sarah occasionally and had written her a 
few times while stationed in the Pacific with the U. S. Army. After World War II ended, he returned to Wilson and they began dat- 
ing regularly. He and three of his brothers operated Whitley's Electric Company. Sarah and Shiney were married in August 1946. 

Sarah worked with J. C. Penney only a few months before she took an 1 8-year leave of absence to be a homemaker and mother 
to their three children, "Chuck," Jr., Maria and Mona. During these years, Sarah became an accomplished seamstress, not only 
sewing her daughters' clothes, her own outfits including suits, dresses, hats, etc., but making matching jackets for her husband 
and son, as well as household curtains and draperies. She says that she really loved spending her time sewing. Even now she is 
planning to make more draperies for her children, and it hasn't been long since she made a dress for her granddaughter, Heather 
to wear in a family wedding. Sarah not only sewed, she did all her own decorating. Mona was not even out of her bassinet before 
Sarah was painting an upstairs bedroom. 

You only have to ride by her home to realize how much Sarah loves weeding and working in her beautiful flower-filled yard. Sun- 
day dinner after church for the whole family is a tradition at Sarah's. 

Sarah returned to J. C. Penney as the first supervisor of Credit and Layaway and later was promoted to be the first woman on 
the Management Staff in charge of fashions. In addition, she was caring for her husband through his long illness and subsequent 
death at age 52. After 20 years with Penney's, she retired for only 18 months before going to work part-time at The Image spe- 
cialty shop, a job she has performed for the past ten and a half years. 



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For about two years after her parents moved the family to Wilson, they returned to Stantonsburg to attend Church before joining 
First Baptist Church in Wilson, and for many years four generations of the immediate and extended family have filled the seventh 
pew on the Park Avenue side of the sanctuary. Sarah's brother, Marion, Jr. is a member, as are her cousins, Bobbie Ellis Warenda 
and Charlotte Pridgen Turner (also born at Fairfield Dairy where the children spent their early childhood years), and her sister-in- 
law, Onnie Whitley. 

These days, you will not likely find all of Sarah's family seated together in church. Two of her children are usually on the front pew, 
Maria presently serving as the first Chairwoman of the Deacons (her second term on the Board) and Chuck serving another of 
many four-year terms on the Board of Deacons. In the past, Sarah herself served one term concurrently with Chuck. Her father 
served as a deacon in the Stantonsburg Baptist Church. 

Sarah taught first-grade Sunday School for 20-years before being "promoted" to a sixthh grade teacher, and she has continued 
teaching in this capacity for more than twenty-five years. Her love for children and young people shows when she talks about 
watching them grow up to be high school seniors or when she recognizes the child of a parent she taught in years past. She also 
cherishes fond memories of teaching with many in our Church, including Ethel Wilkerson, Margery Harris, Eleanor Tabb, Sherron 
Boyd, Ronnie Moore, Don Pridgen, Carl Betsill, Mack Moore and the late Eva Bailey and Frances Lee. 

Sarah was elected President of the WMU for 1961-1962, after having served as Secretary under WML) President Sallie Moore. 
She served as the leader of a WMU night circle during the years she worked at Penney's, led a morning group after she retired 
and is currently leading another night circle. She has also served as the Clerk of the First Baptist Church. For many years, Sarah 
was an active member of the Altrusa Club, which is an acronym for Amity, Loyalty, Talent, Reciprocity, Unity, Service and Achieve- 
ment - ALTRUSA. No longer active, it was a Classified Civic Club, whose purpose was to serve others. Membership consisted of 
only two or three women representing each of a variety of professions. Sarah has also volunteered with the American Red Cross 
Bloodmobile and presently donates her spare time to Meals on Wheels. 

At only 28 years old, Sarah's son, Chuck, was promoted from Assistant Director to Director of Utilities for the City of Wilson. 
He is invaluable to First Baptist whenever anything goes wrong with the electrical, heating or air conditioning systems. He has 
served as Chairman of the Deacons and on innumerable committees in the Church. He is married to the former Judi Boone and 
they have two children. Mark is Assistant City Manager in South Hill, Virginia and engaged to be married in July. Their daughter, 
Robin, is a senior at UNC-Chapel Hill planning to pursue her Master's degree after graduation. Sarah's daughter, Maria Harris, 
formerly was employed at the Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf and often can be seen signing our morning services. 
She is currently an occupational therapist rehabilitating upper body functions in both young and old in eastern North Carolina. Her 
son, Adam, has just earned his Eagle Scout Badge with Troop 8 of First Baptist Church. A part of his required community service 
involved the difficult task of removing the original hall flooring from the church basement. Sarah's daughter, Mona, is married to 
Bobby Fulghum, and they have two children, Heather (10) and Rob (8). Mona is a Special Education teacher of autistic children 
with Wilson County Schools, and a Sunday School teacher for our Youth. All of the children, and now even the grandchildren, oc- 
casionally tease Sarah about getting a traffic ticket when she started around the State Capitol building in Raleigh going the wrong 
way. The judge dismissed her case when it came up in court, and Sarah used the signed blank check her husband had given to 
her (for a possible fine) to take her mother and Maria shopping in the big city! 

Accolades for Sarah Pridgen Whitley are long overdue. Someone said any complimentary adjective would be appropriate for 
her. She is a beautiful, fashionable lady on the outside and even more beautiful "inside" with her gentleness, her caring and her 
friendly personality. She always has a ready smile and an infectious laugh. She is a wonderful storyyteller and could have become 
a very talented actress. Both children and adults gravitate to her because she is simply fun to be around. She is always busy, a 
hard-working, persevering lady who apparently never says "No" when asked to do anything worthwhile for others. She is definitely 
one of our very special "Earth Angels," a joy to know and an example to emulate. 

Ashton and Jean Wiggs 
"The Senior Scene" July 2001 

Ashton Parker Wiggs was born in Pine Level, North Carolina on September 28, 1928 and lived there 
with his parents, Jasper and Lucille Wiggs until he was drafted into service. His father was the town 
barber and his mother was a homemaker. Like his parents, Ashton was a member of the Pine Level 
Free Will Baptist Church. He graduated from Pine Level High School in 1947, having played baseball 
and basketball all four years. He earned the All-County Award in basketball his senior year and was 
voted the most outstanding athlete in his high school his junior and senior years. He played second 
base for the Johnston County All-star Team that played the Major League Post Season Touring Pros. 
Sports and the music of Harry James were his love during those high school years. He played the 
trumpet in a local dance band and entertained his neighborhood by practicing in his back yard. He 
also worked part time at the comer drugstore where he learned to put together a really "cool" sundae 
and milkshake. 

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After graduating from high school he began working with the Bright Leaf and Burley Tobacco company in Smithfield. Three years 
later, in 1 950, the Korean War called and Ashton served a year in combat in Korea. He was discharged from the army in 1 952 and 
enrolled in Atlantic Christian College in January 1953. Only two and a half years later, he graduated from AC.C. in August 1955 
with a degree in business and a teacher's certificate. Two days after his graduation, Ashton was married to a college freshman 
cheerleader named Jean Vaughan. 

Jean was born in Ahoskie, North Carolina on April 5, 1936 to Julian and Nannie Vaughan and grew up with her older brother, 
Albert, on their parents' farm. Her father was a farmer and her mother was a homemaker, and being an excellent seamstress, 
worked in the Alteration Department of Belk Tyler. During high school, Jean also worked weekends and summers at Belk Tyler as 
a salesperson and model for newspaper ads. She can well remember being her father's helper on the family farm and the hard 
labor of life on a farm as it was in those days with none of the modem equipment of today's farmers. She was a member of the 
First Baptist Church of Ahoskie where she attended regularly until she entered Atlantic Christian College as a freshman in the 
fall of 1954. Jean had just graduated from Ahoskie High School where she had been a cheerleader for three years, a Beta Club 
member, a member of the school chorus, yearbook staff and school newspaper staff and played basketball and volleyball. She 
represented her class in the Homecoming Court and represented her town her senior year as Princess Ahoskie in the Williamston 
Harvest Festival held in Williamston, North Carolina. At Atlantic Christian College, Jean represented the freshman class as a 
contestant for queen of the college yearbook and was first runner-up as homecoming queen. 

Upon entering Atlantic Christian College, Jean and Ashton were in business classes together; they met, they helped each other 
study, she shared her meal tickets with him, and she would answer his whistle outside her dorm room at 9 p.m. when the fresh- 
men girls could leave their rooms to go across the street to Tweetie's Soda Shop for a 30-minute study break. By the end of the 
1 955 school year the graduating senior and the college freshman cheerleader became engaged and were married on August 21 , 
1955 in Jean's home church in Ahoskie. 

They then moved to Raleigh where Ashton's first teaching job was at Needham Broughton high School. Jean attended Meredith 
College to continue earning her college degree, and Ashton started his Master's Degree at the University of North Carolina. A 
year later in 1956 they moved to Lewiston, North Carolina, where Ashton had accepted the principalship of West Bertie High 
School. There he was principal and coach for the baseball team and girls' basketball team. During the summers and weekends 
he continued his pursuit for a Master's degree at East Carolina University, which he earned in 1959. While living in Lewiston, their 
son, Russell Ashton "Rusty" was born in 1 957. He later graduated from Pike High School and Atlantic Christian College and now 
resides in Greensboro with his wife, Lisa, who was a professional model, and their two children, Alec and Kate. Rusty has his own 
business representing actors and actresses with the film industry. Lisa stayed busy volunteering in Alec's school and their church 
and doing part-time modeling assignments. Ashton and Jean returned to Atlantic Christian College in 1959, when Ashton was 
appointed Assistant Professor of Business. He served on many committees of the college during his thirty-one year tenure on the 
faculty, chairing the Admissions Committee for eight years, the Athletic Committee nine years and the Discipline Committee five 
years. His teaching career ended with his retirement in 1990. 

Upon their return to Wilson, Jean, with two-year-old Rusty, once again continued her work toward her degree in Primary Educa- 
tion. She (and Rusty) attended daily classes which were scheduled around Ashton's free teaching periods. He would keep Rusty 
in his office while Jean attended class, or various students volunteered to baby-sit him in the classroom lobby. With their one car, 
Ashton would finish teaching a class, run to his car to go home to get Jean and Rusty and take them to the classroom building for 
Jean's class, all in the fifteen-minute span of time between classes. By also attending evening and Saturday classes when Ashton 
was free of teaching duties, Jean was awarded her degree and teaching certificate in June 1961. Her advisor told her he should 
also prepare a certificate for Rusty, who had attended college every day. Jean was made a member of the faculty at Winstead El- 
ementary School, where she had done her student practice teaching. She then spent her entire career of 30 years teaching third 
grade there, retiring from Wilson City Schools in 1 991 . While teaching Jean was chairman of the third grades for 1 2 years and was 
nominated by her co-workers for Teacher of the Year five different years. She was also chairman of the year-long Self-Study for 
Winstead School, mandated by the Wilson City Schools System. This self-study was to seek accreditation with the Southern As- 
sociation of Colleges and Schools. A book was compiled and a copy sent to the Southern Association, of this Jean is very proud. 

Through the years Ashton served two terms as president of the Carolinas Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, served eight years 
as an elected member of Wilson City Council, and for many years wrote a column on economics for the Wilson Daily Times. He 
is a past member of the Rotary Club where he served on various committees and was president in 1974. He is a Mason and a 
member of the Shrine Club, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Patriotism Committee for the City of Wilson. 

When Ashton and Jean talk about their family, they always include their "adopted" daughter, Mercedes, who came to Atlantic 
Christian College in 1977 from Columbia, South America on a tennis scholarship. They wanted to help this student who could 
speak very little English and was so far from home and family. Very soon a real bond of love had formed and Mercedes came 
to live with the Wiggs in their home. She graduated from Atlantic Christian College and married Lee Horton, a graduate of the 
University of North Carolina from Wendell, North Carolina. They now live in Charlotte with their two children, Joshua and Kristen. 
Lee is a teacher and soccer coach at Latin Private School and Mercedes works for an import-export company that utilizes her 
Spanish-speaking ability to its fullest. Ashton and Jean always speak with much pride and love of their children and their families. 

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Both Ashton and Jean made their profession of faith in Jesus as young children in their home churches. They have very cherished 
memories of growing up in loving, Christian homes and church families that nourished their Christian faith, growth and beliefs. 
First Baptist Church has been the church home and family of Jean and Ashton for almost thirty years. Together they have served 
as teachers of the high school age students in Sunday School and served on the Baptism and Greeting Committees. Ashton was 
ordained as a deacon in 1 977 and served this position until 1 981 . Before coming to First Baptist he was an Elder at the Covenant 
Presbyterian Church in Wilson. For two years he was director of the Adult IV Sunday School department of First Baptist and was 
president of the Paraclete-Berean Class three different years. He is presently a group leader in the Paraclete Class. Jean is serv- 
ing as secretary of the Ruth Class, a position she has filled for several years. She has served as a group leader for her chass 
and has had the responsibility of collecting and delivering school supplies for the students at Winstead School, a project of the 
Ruth Class. Jean is a member of the WMU (Baptist Women) where she has held the position of Mission Action chairman of her 
group for the past four years. 

The Wiggs' retirement is spent doing the things they enjoy. Ashton is an avid golfer and sports enthusiast. He spends some of 
his time working in real estate and advising in this field. Jean spends much of her time in her yard and just enjoying her home. 
She makes sure walking four miles a day is part of her daily routine. She collects bears and the Colonial Village buildings which 
are displayed throughout their home. Both enjoy reading, spending time with their children, occasional trips to the mountains and 
joining the Senior Adults on their trips. Together they have done volunteer work for the Heart and Cancer funds. Ashton and Jean 
(or "Sis," a nickname Ashton gave Jean long ago in honor of her beloved great aunt) have loved and now treasure the simple, 
quiet life God has given them for the past 46 years. They feel so very blessed, and members of First Baptist Church are especially 
blessed to have Jean and Ashton Wiggs as long-time, faithful, dedicated active members of the congregation. 

Ethel Wilkerson 
"The Senior Scene" July 1994 

She was born on a hot summer day in Sampson County, next to the youngest of seven children. Of four 
boys and three girls, only the girls are now living — one older and one younger than she. 

She met her husband-to-be at a summer party before going to Miller Mott Business School in Clinton. She 
says of her husband, quite fondly, "There was never another one like him-he was the best." They went 
together for a long time — "six or seven years," but were engaged only a short time. By 1 944 he was in the 
armed services, so she became a "war bride." It wasn't long before he was sent overseas to serve in Ger- 
many and France. He later spent time in an English hospital recuperating from a shrapnel wound. 

For four years, she worked in the Scottish Bankof Lumberton, which later merged with First Union. She and 
her husband lived in Lillington and Liberty before moving to Wilson in 1948, where her husband was made 
manager of the Progressive Store. She worked in the store with him about two years before going to work 
for the National Bank of Wilson (now First Union) in 1952, where she worked for 33 years before retiring. 
Mary Lib Smith, Annie Royal Farmer and Sudie Watson were some of her co-workers. 

She has been a widow 22 years and still lives in the house she and her husband built. They were both raised in the Baptist faith. 
After moving to Wilson, they were immediately visited by the Mayor (James L. Hales) and the Postmaster (Garry Fulghum), who 
invited the new Wilsonians to First Baptist. The very first Sunday they were in Wilson the young couple joined our church at the 
corner of Nash and Pine Streets, where Clyde Baucom was Pastor. They were very faithful and dedicated members and she 
hasn't changed. Although she has no children of her own, she loves everybody else's children. For seventeen years, she was 
Superintendent of the Primary Sunday School Department (six-year-olds). She remembers teaching with Eva Bailey, Dora Lane 
Strickland, Frances Lee and Sarah Whitley. She also taught eight-year-olds for two years with Kathryn Easom. 

She was a night WMU Circle Leader for many years. Some of the members' names she recalled were Bertha Duncan, Lucy Stall- 
ings, Ella Phillips, Lucy Culpepper, Lottie Frances Collins, Gertrude Ashe, Marjorie Moore, Katie Reedy, and Florence Pittman. 
She was the recipient of the WMU Service Award for the year 1988-1989. She is active in Sunday School and WMU — always 
willing to accept an office or perform any task at hand. She sings in the Senior Adult Choir, and at one time sang in the Sanctuary 
Choir. She is in the FBC Group that gives a monthly birthday party to Triangle East residents and often bakes the birthday cake. 
She helps cook the Senior Adult lunches when called upon. 

This lady is quite a busy person. Besides all her Church activities, she is a member of the Business and Professional Woman's 
Club, the American Legion Auxiliary and attends the AARP meetings. She volunteers at the Wilson Memorial Hospital Gift Shop 
three half-day shifts each month. For her own pleasure she enjoys growing, arranging and sharing flowers, doing yard work, read- 
ing, cooking and going places. She says that everything is a learning experience, and that she is blessed with the opportunity to 
know and work with so many wonderful people. When she says she appreciates her Church and puts it first, you can hear the 
love and sincere caring in her expression. 

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ETHEL BLACKBURN WILKERSON, this is your life! Today is your day! We at First Baptist Church are privileged to know you; we 
are blessed to have you as a servant of Jesus Christ here among us; we thank you and we love you! (2/11/06) 

Jim and Bessie Wilson 
October 1999 

Bessie Nell Davidson weighed thirteen pounds when she was born December 6, 1932 at the foot 
of a mountain in Kanawha Head, West Virginia, the youngest girl of nine children (seven girls and 
two boys). Bedtime prayers on their knees were a must. She was called "Bessie Lou" after a doting 
aunt and thought that was her name until she was a senior in high school when her birth certificate 
revealed she was named "Bessie Nell." Bessie rode the bus twenty-one miles each way to and from 
school. She graduated from Buckhannon-Upshur High School in 1 950 and had taken oral and written 
exams for admission to nursing school; however, a visit with a sister, where a family named Wilson 
lived next door, changed her plans — and her life! 

James Claude Wilson was born February 28, 1926 on a mountaintop in Crawford, West Virginia. 
The family lived in a "shotgun" house with no electricity or running water. Their house is no longer 
there) and the nearby church they attended is deserted. Jimmy was the third child of four — one girl 
and three boys, one of whom died as a young child. The children attended Union Hill Grade School, 

a one-room school with drinking water that came from a spring and no indoor restroom. Jim graduated from Walkersville High 

School in 1 943 and was then employed by Firestone in Akron, Ohio. 

He spent two and a half years in the Seventh Air Force and was stationed in Okinawa. His unit was ready to go to Japan when the 
atomic bomb was dropped. Since moving to Wilson, he found out that Ben Williams, a former member of First Baptist Church, and 
Louis Wilson, a Canterbury Road neighbor, were both in Okinawa at that time. After his discharge from the Air Force, he returned 
to work at Firestone. The company gave him credit for his time served in the Air Force, as well as his previous years at Firestone. 

In 1950, Jim spent his vacation in Crawford with his parents at the same time Bessie Davidson was visiting her sister next door. 
They met, dated and corresponded until November 18 of that same year when they were married. On their wedding trip, they 
went to Pittsburgh Oakland (in the northeast comer of Pennsylvania) and to visit another sister of Bessie's in Clarksburg. There 
they had an extended week's honeymoon because on Thanksgiving Day it snowed about three feet deep. They made their first 
home in Akron and lived there until 1973, raising their family of three children. 

The eldest, Jeff lives with his wife, Sue, in Huron, Ohio on Lake Erie. He is a school administrator; she is a high school counselor 
and also does private counseling. Jeff plays trumpet professionally with a group and occasionally with the symphony. Sue plays 
piano and enjoys all kinds of needlework, including quilting. Jennifer is now married to Roger Wormwood and is a homemaker in 
Bailey. Roger is a supervisor with S. T. Wooten Corporation. Jennifer has a son, Dustin Cox, from a former marriage. When Jeff 
learned that a third child was expected, he took a baby sitting course at school. He was thirteen when Sue Ellen was born, he 
entered Kent State in Ohio at the same time "Susie" entered kindergarten. Because he was in college, Jeff did not move with the 
family when Jim was sent to Wilson to help build the Firestone plant. Susie started first grade at Wells Elementary School while 
Margaret Morris was principal. Susie is now a nurse in the Catheterization Lab at New Hanover Hospital in Wilmington and is 
affectionately known as the "Queen of the Rotor Rooter") because she consistently removes the most plaque from patients. She 
and her husband, Steve Pagley, are the parents of eighteen-month-old Alexander. Steve works for the town of Carolina Beach. 
Jim and Bessie recently kept "Alex" in Wilson when Hurricane Dennis was threatening the coast. 

Jim and Bessie were the third Firestone family to move to Wilson. Between 1975 and 1982, when Jim was associated with Fire- 
stone International, they lived in seven different places: Akron, Ohio; Oshawa, Ontario, Canada; Nashville, Tennessee; Baton 
Rouge, Louisiana; Burlington, Ontario, Canada; Memphis, Tennessee and Wilson, North Carolina. During that time, the family did 
not go with Jim when he was sent to Ghana, Africa and the Philippines. 

Every time the family moved, they had one week to find a place to live, find the best schools, get a loan, etc. They always prayed 
"and the Lord went with them." In Nashville, it was necessary to rent a place and they lived around the comer from Ernest Tubb's 
son, Justin. At church they met lots of people who were well known in the country music world. Although Jim retired from Firestone 
in 1982, he then went to work with Allied Maintenance operating the powerhouse at Firestone. 

When they were first married, Bessie worked at the Firestone Bank until they started their family. After the children were grown, 
Bessie worked for ten years with J. C. Penney in Wilson. Once she inadvertently placed a customer's check in the bag with the 
merchandise. Upon discovering her mistake, she planned to reimburse Penney's with her own money until the customer called 
and came back to Wilson from out of town to return the check. 

Both Bessie and Jim attended Methodist churches in childhood. Soon after they were married, they were baptized on the same 

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day in an independent Baptist Church in Akron. Bessie can quote verbatim the pastor's remarks while baptizing her. Their children 
were baptized in three different states: Jeff in Ohio, Jennifer at First Baptist in Wilson and Susie in Louisiana. The Wilsons always 
looked for a Baptist Church wherever they moved. Once when their Canadian Church was planning Easter Sunrise services, Jim 
suggested breakfast at McDonald's prior to the service. The preacher (also named Wilson) said to Jim "If you want breakfast, you 
can cook it!" 



So he and Bessie did cook a huge breakfast for everyone with ham, eggs and all 
"Don't ever make any more suggestions like that!" 



the trimmings. Bessie's admonition to Jim was: 



Bessie was in an interesting International Bible Study of eight members during their first stay in Canada. Only two people were 
from Canada, Bessie was from the United States, and the other five were each from a different country. That may have been the 
year that Jim was to make out their tax returns because he had worked in Africa, Canada and the U.S. and could not find anyone 
to fill out the complicated returns. A businessman once paid Jim without Jim filling out the necessary forms; and when Jim asked 
why, the man said "because I know you at Church." 

When the Wilsons moved here they visited Grace Baptist and Tabernacle Baptist Churches. For a month, they stayed at the Heart 
of Wilson Motel and could walk to First Baptist; Bill Bussey was the only minister who visited them. When Susie got sick, Barbara 
Flowers and Barbara Whiteman went to the motel to visit and brought Susie a gift. They joined First Baptist soon afterward, where 
Jim has served as an usher for many years. Jim and Bessie have served on the Chancel and Baptism Committees and are now 
substitute greeters. Bessie was a Girl Scout leader and helped Sarah Whitley teach fifth graders in Sunday School, among whom 
were Paula Hill and Mary Mitchell Campbell. Jim helped with house repairs at Fort Caswell and helped build a porch for Tommy 
Watson, as well as a deck on Louis Meyer's beach cottage, which was promptly destroyed by Hurricane Fran. He once took the 
batteries out of his smoke alarm to use in a neighbor's TV remote until he could shop for more the next day. In whatever neighbor- 
hood they live, this willing "jack of all trades" is called upon whenever help is needed. 

Jim is a member of the Masons here and in Ohio and a member of the Elks. He loves to hunt, fish and golf on days when he is 
not working at Stephens Hardware. Bessie spent some years as a member of various clubs, but now enjoys reading, knitting and 
working around the house with Jim, such as their recent job of painting the trim. She attends a monthly luncheon for J. C. Pen- 
ney retirees. The Wilsons enjoy family gatherings, at their time-share condominium in the West Virginia mountains and traveling. 
They have made several trips with the Senior Adults and plan to attend the Senior Adult Conference. They are caring, friendly, 
personable and a pleasure to be around. They demonstrate their Christian beliefs in their everyday living. 

Joyce Witheringon 
December 2001 

Susie Joyce Dildy was born on May 15, 1938 in the Woodard-Herring Hospital in Wilson, daughter 
of John and Susie Dildy who resided in Farmville. She was an only child of very strict parents. Joyce 
was born with a "hole in her heart" and as a child was very susceptible to colds and sore throats. Her 
second grade teacher did not understand and said unkind things to Joyce regarding her absences. 
However, she had a very kind and loving eighth grade teacher, and from then on she only wanted "to 
become as good a teacher as Mrs. Finch." After graduating from Farmville High School in 1956, she 
entered East Carolina College (now the University) in Greenville, went year-round and graduated in 
just three years with her Bachelor of Science Degree in Early Childhood Education. 

While Joyce was a sophomore there, she and her roommate went on a college-chartered train to 
Richmond for a football game. A senior named Phil Witherington from Vanceboro was riding in the 
same car and struck up a conversation with her, and before the trip was over he asked her out. She 
says "the rest is history." Phil had already served four years in the US Navy and returned to ECU to 
finish college. They continued dating, agreeing their first goal was for her to finish her education. Phil 

had begun working on his Master's Degree and taught school in Elm City while she completed her degree. She graduated in late 

November 1959, and they were married that December, three years after they met. 

Phil accepted a job with Aetna Insurance Company in Charlotte, but was not at all happy in that work. They then moved to 
Elizabethtown and lived there four years where Phil taught high school Science and Joyce taught sixth grade until there was an 
opening for her in third grade. They also lived in Wilmington two years while Phil taught at New Hanover High School. 

Joyce and Phil Witherington actually moved to Wilson twice, first in 1966 when Phil was offered a position teaching at Atlantic 
Christian College. Joyce did not take a teaching job, but stayed busy going back and forth to Farmville to look after her aging 
parents. Phil then received a National Defense Education Fellowship at William & Mary College in Williamsburg, Virginia. They 
lived in Newport News while he commuted to Williamsburg and Joyce taught first grade at Langley Air Force Base. One year she 
lived at home in Farmville taking care of her parents, but Phil came home every weekend. During this time her father died and her 




113 



mother was diagnosed with Cancer. When they moved to Wilson her mother came and lived with them until she died. 

After Phil received his Master's Degree, he was offered a position' at Atlantic Christian College with the stipulation that he pursue 
his Doctorate, so they returned to Wilson in 1974. Phil became a Professor of Science and later chaired the Science Department. 
Joyce taught Kindergarten for fifteen years and second grade for eight years at Gardner's School in Wilson County before retiring 
in 1995. Diane Johnson was also a second grade teacher there and the two became good friends and co-workers. 

Joyce and Phil loved to travel. In 1966, they toured extensively in Europe for 3 1/2 weeks. They spent several summer vacations 
on different islands in the Caribbean. In 1991, they went on a tour to Italy organized by Elaine Craig for her high school history 
students. Joyce and Phil took a month off one summer and drove across the United States. They had planned to spend most of 
their time traveling upon retirement; however, that was not to be. Phil retired in 1996 and died of Cancer only a year later. 



About three years ago while in a restaurant in Okracoke, North Carolina, a lady, who was obviously not from North Carolina 
according to her accent, asked Joyce if she were Janet Reno. Joyce told her "No", but the lady insisted that she looked just like 
Ms. Reno. Joyce wasn't sure this was a compliment, but she graciously thanked her anyway. 

Phil's grandmother gave the land where his home church is located in Vanceboro. His family was strong Methodists and the 
church was named for her. Even though Joyce grew up in the Baptist Church where her family attended all services, she and Phil 
decided to attend the Methodist Church in Wilson; however, a couple of years before Phil died, they started attending First Baptist 
Church. Joyce hates to admit her fear of water had kept her from being baptized. After Phil died, a friend suggested that she be 
sprinkled in the Methodist Church and then transfer her membership, but she thought that would be dishonest. So she gathered 
her courage and with Dr. Murray's kind understanding and counseling beforehand, she finally "made the plunge" in 1998. 

Since then, Joyce's whole life seems to revolve around Church activities and individuals in the congregation. She regularly 
visits the sick and elderly, the shut-ins and nursing home residents and visits newcomers and visitors to First Baptist on Sunday 
afternoons. She is very active in the Barnabas Ministry, the Ruth Class of Sunday School, Baptist Women (WMU) and Sunday 
night and Wednesday night activities. She currently serves as a deacon, member of the' Chancel and Christmon Tree Committees 
and a Wednesday night cooking team. 

Joyce said that one of her strangest experiences was when she began to visit people who were sick and she went to see Mary 
Woodall. In the course of conversation, they exchanged information about their early years. Mary asked if her grandfather's name 
was Elisha Dildy, and Joyce replied that it was. Then Mary asked if she knew his son John Roy Dildy, which Joyce affirmed was 
her own father! In this way, they discovered that Mary's grandmother and Joyce's grandfather were brother and sister, and they 
have enjoyed being good friends and cousins ever since. 

Not all Joyce's time is spent on Church related activities. She is a member of the Wilson. Woman's Club and still enjoys traveling 
and visiting. She, Alice Browder and Ruby Wells recently returned from a trip to the mountains of North Carolina with our Senior 
Adults. Joyce also likes to read, but is limited because of close vision problems. At age twenty-eight, she was one of the first 
patients at Duke Hospital to have heart surgery using a particular technique to repair her heart valve. Although she is sometimes 
limited in her activities, almost nothing prevents her from visiting those Earth Angels in our congregation she has come to know 
and love. 

Joyce Witherington is quiet and pleasant, but no longer shy. Friends admire her for her faithfulness and devotion to God and our 
Church, her friendly personality and beautifully groomed appearance. She is a very positive role model, always supportive of and 
concerned about others. (7/18/03) 

Vera Womble 
"The Senior Scene" August 1999 

Baby Girl Parker was born to John Quincy and Capitola Ricks Parker on October 28, 1902 in a 
house that is still standing near the Roanoke River in Northampton County. When she was two 
years old, her family moved to a farm near Murfreesboro. On that property is an early 1 800's house 
recently featured in Southern Living magazine that her brother inherited and her nephew is now 
restoring. Her family called her "Baby Girl" until she was four or five years old, when they finally 
named her Martha Vera! She was the middle child of seven, three boys and four girls. 

They attended a one-room schoolhouse, and Vera later attended Chowan College for a year. Dur- 
ing World War I, Vera was the oldest child at home, and she and her sister "ran the farm." Once, 
when her younger brother was being chased by a billy goat, Vera grabbed him "by the seat of his 
britches and threw him over the fence." 

114 




When her older sister Mary was courting in the parlor, Vera and her younger sister, Rousseau would play jokes on Mary's beau by 
going off to bed, then climbing out the window and taking the young man's horse and buggy to a distant field. Consequently, the 
suitor had to stay overnight, but Vera and Rousseau would get up before dawn and return the horse and buggy, thereby embar- 
rassing him. Later, when he came courting in a new-fangled car, they tricked him again by stuffing a com cob in the exhaust pipe 
so the car would not start. Then, true to form, they would remove it before dawn and the car would start with no trouble. There's 
no telling what they did after he became their brother-in-law! 

Vera's mother and Molly Womble were friends, and Vera was a friend of one of the three daughters of Molly and her husband, 
James Malachi Womble. After Molly died, Vera became Mr. Womble's second wife when she was twenty-four and he was forty- 
nine. They were married on December 26, 1926 and became the parents of two children, James M. "Jimmy" Jr. and Connie W. 
Daniels, who has lived with Vera now for almost ten years. The family moved to Wilson in 1933 during the Great Depression in 
hopes of making a better living. They attended First Baptist Church at Nash and Pine Streets the very first Sunday they were in 
town! Dr. H. A. Ellis was Pastor and Vera recalls that Harriett Plyler was organist. Two Sunday School teachers who impressed 
Connie were Mattie Moss and Dorsey Blount. Although all of James Malachi Womble's family called him "Sonny," Vera called him 
"Mr. Womble" throughout his life. With Firpo Williams he established the WW Furniture and Appliance Company which Jimmy now 
runs. Connie says that her father was "all business and no play." 

It has been said that this church on Nash Street and Park Avenue was built with chicken pastry because of all that was made and 
sold for the building fund by ladies such as Vera, Hattie Wooten, Emma Pridgen, Hazel Barnes, Ella Crute, Nova Royal and Essie 
Morris. Vera says Mrs. Crute refused to share her recipes, but Vera would watch, learn and then share! Vera also baked many, 
many pecan pies and made hand-smocked dresses and other items to raise money for the church. She says it was certainly a 
wonderful day when the congregation moved from the old church to the present one. 

Vera attended Sunday School "every Sunday," was very active in Church and in WMU Circles and sang in the Senior Adult Choir 
until a light stroke nearly ten years ago. She attended the ladies' exercise class and in her mid-seventies, demonstrated how she 
could bend over and put her hands flat on the floor. She is still slim and trim, and Connie says that Vera is much more agile than 
she is. Vera regularly attends the Senior Adult Luncheons and has modeled in their fashion shows. Her hearing loss and fear of 
falling prevent her from attending and enjoying worship services now. 

Long-time travelers with Senior Adults know Vera likes to go most anywhere, and she still joins us occasionally on a short day 
trip. Connie says that Vera frequently asks at night where they can go the next day. They sometimes visit a former neighbor in a 
Rocky Mount nursing home, Hamilton Home where her sister Rousseau, a retired minister's wife, resides, go out to eat or just for 
a ride. Vera did not stop driving to her sister's home in Winston-Salem until she was in her early eighties. 

One of Vera's favorite pastimes was fishing. She, Ethelyn Nowell and/or Bertha Duncan would go to Bayview or fish all night at 
an Atlantic Beach pier. Years ago, at a Golden Age Christmas party sponsored by the City Recreation Department, Vera dressed 
as an elf in a costume furnished by Minnie Morgan and gave out gifts to the senior citizens. 

Vera says that she was always a homemaker, an "outdoors person" and never a club woman. Even arthritis does not prevent her 
from still working in the yard, especially when she tires of crocheting lace for pillow cases. She is well along toward completing 
her 1999 Christmas gift list. Her vision isn't as good as it used to be, but she has memorized directions for various patterns of 
lace. She says she has never sold a thing she made, but has always given it away. Vera is a "night person." She stops crocheting 
at nine o'clock, gets ready for bed and then watches television until well after midnight-sometimes until 3 a.m.! Guess who was 
in Bayview Fourth of July Parade this year! Yes, Vera, wearing a Bayview T-shirt and riding in a decorated golf cart, smiling and 
waving to the crowds lining the streets. 

Vera has six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. Connie's sons are David, James and John, who live in Wilson. Her daugh- 
ter Martha resides in Raleigh. Jimmy's two daughters are Melanie and Penny, who is especially close to her grandmother and her 
caregiver in Connie's absence. There are eight great-grandchildren and one great-great-granddaughter. 

Vera Womble is a very interesting person, perhaps because she is particularly interested in current happenings at First Baptist 
and elsewhere, although she also enjoys talking about the past. She is only three weeks shy of being the oldest member of FBC. 
She loves people, especially those of First Baptist Church. She is outspoken, but in a friendly sort of way, alert and enthusiastic 
about life, staying as active as possible and doing whatever she does to 100% of her ability. Would that more of us could be like 
her at almost ninety-seven years of age! (4/14/03) 



115 




Mary Woodall 
"The Senior Scene" January 1996 

Although "snow" kept falling into her conversation, she was not born in the land of the north where 
snow is prevalent-she was born in Greene County near Walstonburg, North Carolina. Her mother 
died when she was nine days old, leaving her father with two older boys as well. While she was still a 
toddler, her father remarried and eventually had two more daughters and another son. All six children 
grew up as one big, close happy family. When she was eight and the youngest child was only 15 
months old, their father died and was buried on Christmas Eve in 1 923 with snow on the ground. She 
says her step-mother, whom she called "Mama," was the "best mother she could have had under the 
circumstances." 

In March of 1927, when she was 12 years old, her mother gave her permission to spend the night 
with her friend Agnes, who lived nearby. It snowed all night and the snow was so deep she couldn't 
go home for two days until her brother came for her on a mule. When she got on the mule, her feet 
touched the snow. That same year, the family moved to Fountain, where she was in school with 
Delma Galloway's brothers. Our friend's mother began working in the school lunchroom, becoming 
head of it during her 17-year career there. 

After graduating from Fountain High School, our young lady attended East Carolina Teachers College for over three years. There 
she met the love of her life through a mutual friend, thereby sealing her fate. They continued to date after his graduation, although 
there were strict rules on visitation. He began traveling from his home in Wilson every Sunday afternoon to date her. He always 
left Greenville at 1 PM when she had to be in her dormitory. One night, as he was traveling through Farmville, the police stopped 
him and searched his car! He was on such a regular schedule on Sundays, the police thought he might be a bootlegger! Of 
course, they found nothing, and with a little explanation, he was on his way. 

Having been raised in the Presbyterian Church, our heroine and some of her college friends regularly walked to that Sunday 
School and Church nearby. Occasionally, they would visit other churches. She remembers one particular Presbyterian lady who 
showed special concern when any of the girls were missing on Sunday morning. 

Cedric Woodall was persistent in his marriage proposal to Mary Bundy, and they were married on Thanksgiving Day in 1936, in 
the Ashland Baptist Church in Ashland, Virginia. After a honeymoon in Washington, DC, they moved to Wilson when there was 
snow on the ground. 

Cedric's father was part owner of R. E. Quinn & Company, and Cedric worked there until his graduation from college. In 1948, 
Cedric and his father went into business together as L. C. Woodall Furniture Company. Cedric's mother was not in good health, 
and Mary helped look after her, worked in the store in any capacity needed, kept her home and raised a son. 

Church was a priority in the Woodalls' lives. Cedric had been a member of First Baptist since he was 11 years old, and Mary joined 
in 1937 soon after they were married. Jackie Brooks and her sister Jessie Daniel promptly visited the new bride and invited her 
to join their circle. 

Mary has been active in WMU ever since. She is presently a member of Ethel Wilkerson's Group II. She is also a Group Leader in 
Sallie Boswell's Friendship Sunday School Class. She enjoys telephoning and visiting members who cannot easily attend Sunday 
services. The class visits Triangle East Nursing Home each month with birthday cake, punch and gifts to honor that month's 
resident birthdays. Mary particularly enjoys being active in the Wednesday afternoon Sewing Group. 

Like many, Mary began her 25 years of Sunday School teaching experience under Mrs. Mattie Moss in the Beginner Department 
with four-year-olds in the house behind the Church at Nash and Pine Streets. Mrs. Moss and Mary always visited each child in 
his or her home. 

Everyone was happy when the new Church was completed and they were able to move into larger, modem quarters at the 
present site. After Mrs. Moss died, Mary stayed on as head of that department. Others who helped at various times were, 
Claudia Bartholomew, Dallie Williams, Jo Finch, Janie Reid Broadhurst and Lottie Sutton. Mary also recalls attending her own 
Sunday School class meetings. At different times, the class was taught by Mrs. Ellis and Mrs. Homes, wives of former pastors. 
Lillie Kinney and Mary regularly visited newcomers at First Baptist. Mary remembers helping Irene Jackson and others with the 
suppers and selling Christmas cards to raise money for our present church building fund. 

After Mrs. Woodall died in 1950, Mary looked after both Mr. Woodall's "big" house and their "little" house next door for 11 years. 
The extended family always gathered in Mr. Woodall's home on holidays, and every year Mary decorated a Christmas tree for 
each house. After Mr. Woodall died, the family of three moved into the larger home. She speaks very fondly of her in-laws. Cedric 
died eight years ago after 51 years of marriage, and like most widows, she still misses her husband very much. 



116 



Her son and his family are her pride and joy. Leigh is a registered representative with Principal Financial Group in Roxboro, N. 
C. He is also Financial Chairman at Piedmont Community College. He is a County Commissioner in Person County. In 1993, 
he was selected Kiwanian of the Year. His wife, Carolyn is a guidance counselor at Person County High School. They have two 
daughters-Jennifer, a senior at Wake Forest University, and Gretchen, a freshman at Appalachian State University. 

Mary is an outdoor person and loves to work in her yard. One reason she hesitated to leave her old house was her big yard of 
favorite trees, shrubs and numerous bulbs she had planted. She feels it is a blessing that she delayed making a decision to move 
until she was fortunate to find the house Lynwood Walters and his family vacated. She is delighted to be in her new home in a 
good neighborhood. Once again, she and Delma Galloway are neighbors. 

Mary Woodall is always cheerful and has a positive outlook on life. She is currently being a homemaker taking care of her yard; 
however, her priority is helping others and being involved in all her church activities. She is a faithful Baptist and a dedicated 
Christian, a very willing worker for God. She considers each day a blessing from Him and uses each day to the fullest of her ability. 
We are grateful for her shining example to all of us. (9/17/04) 

Lonnie and Hattie Wooten 
"The Scenior Scene" January 1990 

Hattie Petway Wooten, whose birthday is February 18, will celebrate 67 years of marriage with her 
husband, Lonnie, just the day before. They have two daughters, Derelys Danforth and Elizabeth 
Winstead. They have five grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, and four great-greats! 

Mrs. Wooten, a member of First Baptist since 1951, was our WMU President from 1981-83 and 
received the WMU Service Award for 1981-82. She was Church Hostess for several years and a 
member of the Ladies' Sewing Group. She has been a Circle Leader at each of her Churches: Five 
Points, Morehead City Baptist, and Wilson First. As a Sunday School teacher in Morehead City, she 
taught the Rev. John Bunn, who conducted our revival last year. While here, he visited her home. 

Several years ago, Mr. and Mrs. Wooten traveled in Canada, Mexico, and through much of the 
United States, visiting family and friends along the way. 

Hattie's favorite pastimes are reading, sewing, and cooking (or supervising); and she especially enjoys her many friends and 
appreciates all the kindness her Church family continues to do for them. Next time you visit, she might persuade Mr. Wooten to 
show you his new talking clock or his electric fork! (Lonnie 12/2/92 and Hattie 9/24/91) 





Blanche Wyatt 
"The Senior Scene" September 1994 

I grew up in Cumberland County on a farm that has been in the family since 1761. We were half a 
mile from South River and 30 miles from White Lake. I consider it a privilege to have grown up during 
the depression when people were judged by quality rather than quantity. 

I graduated from Stedman High School in 1934. Four years later I graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill 
with a BS in Pharmacy. My father, Buckner G. Bullock, married Margaret Downing Bullock, a teacher, 
and three of their five daughters were teachers, so he influenced me to study pharmacy. I was one 
of the first 12 women pharmacists in North Carolina. Today, 50% or more of the pharmacists are 
women. I loved my profession, even though the hours were long and the work difficult. 

The practice of pharmacy has changed a great deal in the past 50 years. Back then we filled cap- 
sules, mixed powders, lotions, creams, ointments, made suppositories, mixtures of all kinds and also 
made a few pills. Later, in Baltimore, we even made penicillin tablets until drug companies began to 
do it for us. 



In 1942, 1 married Archie Wyatt. When I first knew him, he was a pharmaceutical representative. After we married, he was a drafts- 
man for an aircraft company in Baltimore. While there, we were both very busy, but we had wonderful times in New York seeing 
matinees, browsing in Bowery bookstores, vacationing in Atlantic City, and enjoying rainy Sunday afternoons in museums. 

In 1947, destiny led us to Wilson, nearer my relatives in Cumberland County, and Archie's in Mount Olive. He soon became 
associated with Murphy Body Works (later Murphy Manufacturing Company). He was talented, had studied commercial art in 
Richmond and was well qualified when put in charge of all the Murphy Body Works commercial art. 



117 



In 1948, our first son, Lindsey, was born. Two and a half years later, we had twin sons, Buck and Dickie. I took off the next ten 
years to be a housewife and a mother. During this time the children were enrolled in Sunday School, and I worked with children in 
Sunday School and Bible School. Some of my associates in the Beginner Department were Margaret Daughtridge, Adelle Boyd, 
Lossie Tomlinson and Ethelyn Nowell. I retired from the Beginner Department in 1968. 

Three months later, my husband passed away and the following September, I had three sons in college. Lindsey was at Blon, 
Buck and Dickie were freshmen at UNC-Chapel Hill. 

For 25 years, I was associated with Wilson Drug Company, the oldest drug store in Wilson. It was a professional pharmacy with 
high ethical standards, and I loved the people I worked with, as well as the wonderful customers. 

After my sons were through college and self-supporting, I started taking time off from work, without pay, to travel. I flew at least 
75,000 miles, and I'm sorry I couldn't make it 100,000, although I visited all the places I really wanted to see. Due to physical 
problems, I have been limited to short trips in recent years. Since I retired in 1981 , my life has been pleasantly filled with other ac- 
tivities and interests. Special interests among my Church activities are our monthly group visits to Britthaven, our monthly Sunday 
School Class visits to Triangle East, and the Senior Adult Choir. I was a charter member and past President of the Wilson Altrusa 
(acronym explained below) Club. I have had a wonderful life with so many blessings, the greatest of which are my children. 

Lindsey, a teacher, and his wife, a dietitian, recently celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary with a trip to the British Isles and 
Southern Ireland. The oldest of their two daughters, Alicia, is a freshman at Barton. Dickie is a computer programmer with IBM 
and his wife is a dean at Peace College. I'm very fortunate to have Buck, a CPA, here in Wilson. He is always here for me when 
I need him. As we grow older, most of us find that life is a series of adjustments however, a close relationship with God enables 
us to cope and to endure. 

A- Amity, L - Loyalty, T - Talent, R - Reciprocity, U - Unity S - Service, A- Achievement 

by Blanche Wyatt 



118 



Index 



Bailey, Thurman and Rachel 

Baker, Ray and Pat 

Barnes, Alma 

Barnes, Charles 

Barnes, Wiley and Helen 

Bean, Russel and Vera 

Blake, Paul and Eleanor 

Blount, Dorsey 

Boswell, Bob and Sallie 

Boyd, Adelle 

Broadhurst, Ernest and Janie Reid 

Browder, Alice 

Bullard, Roger and Carolyn 

Burriss, C.C. 

Bussey, Bill and Barbara 

Camden, Lottie 

Carlton, Hilton and Frances 

Cherry, Esther 

Clark, Grace 

Cockrell, Onnie and Ann 

Corprew, Louis and Mary 

Craig, Lou and Elaine 

Crawley, Royce and Mary Frances 

Daughtridge, Margaret 

Draughn, John and Caroline 

Eason, Herman and Kathryn 

Elrod, Frances 

Evett, Sam and Virginia 

Farmer, Annie Royal 

Finch, George and Josephine 

Flowers, Alec and Barbara 

Ford, Margie 

Goforth, Joyce 

Griffin, Annie L. 

Griffin, Janie Davis 

Griffin, Thurman and Annie Laurie 

Griffin, Willie and Lee 

Griffin, Five Generations 

Grissom, Albert and Mildred 

Harmon, Sid and Anna 

Harrell, Lillian 

Hayes, A.J. 

High, Lucille 

Jernigan, Bruce and Nancy 

Johnson, Oris and Eunice 

Johnson, Willie 

Joyner, Jesse and Dot 

King, Alma 

Lamm, Annie 

Lamm, Easter 

Lee, Jennie 

Lee, Marguerite 

Lewis, Bill and Norma 

Liggon, Mary Ezzell 

Little, Mickey and Thyra 



3 
4 
5 
6 
7 
8 
9 
10 
11 
12 
13 
14 
15 
16 
17 
18 
19 
20 
21 
21 
22 
23 
24 
25 
26 
27 
27 
28 
30 
31 
32 
33 
34 
35 
37 
37 
39 
39 
39 
40 
42 
43 
44 
45 
46 
46 
47 
48 
49 
50 
51 
52 
54 
55 
56 



Maclaga, Mike and Faye 57 

Macy, Ann 58 

Mercer, Bill and Barbara 59 

Meyer, Louis B. and Evelyn 59 

Moore, Dan and Sherron 61 

Moore, Kitty 62 

Morris, Margaret 63 

Mullen, Betty 64 

Mylum, Jack and Becky 65 

Nelson, C.A. and Juanita 67 

Neeland, Gene and Evelyn 68 

Newton, Joe and Peggy 68 

Newton, Laura 71 

Nobles, Tom and Patsy 71 

Overman, Cliff and Ruth 72 

Owens, Charlie 74 

Page, Harvey and Harriet 75 

Parker, Joe and Rachel 76 

Patterson, Clyde and Dorothy 78 

Patterson, Kathleen 79 

Pittman, Braxton and Rosa 80 

Pittman, Florence 81 

Pridgen, Herbert and DeLannie 82 

Quick, Lester Lee 83 

Riggons, Lonnie E. (In Memory of) 83 

Rogers, Lucy 85 

Shackelford, Mae 85 

Stephenson, Bill and Cornelia 86 

Stephenson, Russell and Tollie 88 

Stott, Polly 89 

Sutton, Bo and Lottie 90 

Tabb, Doug and Eleanor 91 

Turner, Bill and Jayne 92 

Turner, Charlotte 94 

Underwood, Alvin Duke and Mae Pendergrass 95 

Wall, Betty 96 

Walston, Huldah 98 

Walston, Barney and Pat 98 

Watson, Bill and Jo Ann 99 

Weaver, Doris 100 

Webb, John and Carolyn 101 

Webb, Hester 103 

Wells, Ruby 103 

Wheeler, Glenn and Linda 104 

Whitley, Bill and Hilda 106 

Whitley, Onnie 107 

Whitley, Sarah 108 

Wiggs, Ashton and Jean 1 09 

Wilkerson, Ethel 111 

Wilson, Jim and Bessie 112 

Witherington, Joyce 113 

Womble, Vera 114 

Woodall, Mary 116 

Wooten, Lonnie and Hattie 117 

Wyatt, Blanche 117 



119 



Bridgeport National 
Bindery, Inc. 

OCT. 2010